A Night-Bird Sings

What night-bird sings across the river?
What bear of winter whispers
low and deep in the mouth of the cave?
And who is she who moves toward the many-mouthed artesian,
visible to clouds and stars who live in her reflection?

We stand on our heads
the world turns its duplicity to meet us.
Our imagination ventures
beyond and beyond,
and then rushes back to be with she
who has not yet released us.
She spins her arms in all directions;
our mother, who calls with the night bird and says
“here children you’re safe with me”.

We walk the southern bank of the Ballone.
Before the weir we see the river
mirror to all the world.
The weir-gates reveal her power.
Broken water announces birth
and friendship:
a turbulent opportunity to bright with stars,
to carefully wake the sleeping bear.

Firm in the arms of our mother
(suckling the river of all her children)
brought together,
an unseen strength
low and deep;
and the river with night bird, murmuring
murmuring and potent.



MChallis © 2014