Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Friday, June 14, 2013

To Row the Day

To Row the Day

The view from the terrace
spread with exquisiteness
below me, boats abob
in the chop of the water,
a bell on one of them
clanging mournfully
as each chop of the water
hit the hull.  A storm
was building far to the south,
already sending its emissaries
of clouds to negotiate a truce.

The birds appeared unworried.
Some road, nonchalantly,
the railings of the boats.
No presence of concern ruffled them.
A few of them even took the time to preen,
before lifting lazily to flight.

It was not water for rowing,
the chop cutting sharply
across the surface of the bay,
breaking in slices against rock, impervious,
that held the line of the shore to face
the onslaught.  A lone rower graced
the shore with his athletic elegance,
to take a mental sounding
of the water's mood.

Then he read the sky,
where the emissaries scowled.
He watched, waiting
for a chance for the better.
But the chop of the water sharpened.
The emissaries' scowls deepened.
The clang of the lone bell on the one boat
sounded more nervous with worry.
The rower watched negations break down.

And when the first fat drops
of rain spat at him,
the rower turned and climbed
up the bank away
from his desire
to row that day.

Philip Kuepper
(17 May, 2013)

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