Tag Archive: Battenkill


Big Hunking Blobs

I relax my boundaries,
merge, seep outside the lines
to where I end, and the rest starts.

No such thing as this and the other,
just the all, what I am
is not as unique as I think;
sentience is.

Simply to meander as awareness
misting low over vernal pools,
is quite enough to keep me
live, a hot wire.

My mind, thoughts, and words,
all get in the way.

I’d otherwise just ride atop the hum,
the throb – am I the only one feeling that?

In my first month,
I knew my mother by her ear,
the cells of her hand,
as well as her eyes.

I was a puppy punching at my pop.

I once hit a pink ball so hard in the living room,
before I was ten, for sure,
it caught six walls, rebounding around the apartment,
before it lost steam, and caught the soft roll of linoleum.

I’d gaze out the curtains,
through the screens,
to watch you leave
early in the morning,
you off to work,
me a sixth grade insomniac.

I’d hear the bus air-brake on the avenue,
picking you up, taking you to the el,
as I’d drift back to sleep,
soothed by the tocking of your Baby Ben.

I think that time was intended
to culminate now –
always was.

I travel freely in nexus,
causal and otherwise, nasally,
nay synaptically – and syntactically –
congested.

My mind, thoughts, and words,
all get in the way,
I’d otherwise just ride atop the hum.

(That throb – seriously, am I the only one feeling that?)

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

Return to Battenkill

Morning, atop a large rock,
a stone lily pad
in the middle of the stream,
a team-span wide.

Cold waters lap at the edges,
while one can ride dry,
at the high and round rump.

I’m there in perfectly old,
tattered blue-wool pullover,
weighted right against
the vigor of this new day.

How wonderful to have
so much morning remaining
to while away.

Dense clusters of small gnatty flyers
dance in ancient patterns,
in the vee-rays of early sun,
radiant light, pervasive heat,
waves in mirage, they flutter there,
bursting from vernal pools.

Rainbows used to dance here,
leave small wakes, glide on eddies,
do backstrokes, with no one watching.

Masterful puppeteer of lightweight test,
set dry flies still,
perfectly still.

With but the slightest
tremor, concentric break of the surface,
from the rainbow’s vantage.

Just enough to stir curiosity,
a sniff, a poke,
enough to spring the snap.

Nothing sadder than a rainbow in mid-air,
regretting prior impulse.

The change is sudden, inevitable,
decisive.

Snow on Battenkill
falls in crunches,
bunches in feet to yards
high, the wisteria that bough low to the banks,
shaggy, warm under all the cold,
lilac tongues out panting,
with winter body heat,
home to dead butterfly larvae;

dome holds the sound in,
the sound out;
you can walk anywhere,
the terrain is level,
white and wet.

Though not witnessed by anyone or anything,
I left footprints in November,
in the carry along the north rise,
that held their shape and depth,
through March.

I look forward to final frost,
to clear and distinct birthing,
of all that is,
there ever was.

The future is merely supposition.
Isn’t it? The ice, the same as the dew.

I would rather choke
on the freezing waters
filled with silt from the moving,
running bottom,
than trapped in the upper layers,
locked frozen in time.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

Please see here for the original Battenkill

Battenkill

The long taper of the fisherman
carves graceful serpents in the air,
undulates overhead, uncoils,
lays his leader down on the eddy.

The coachman’s hackle catches fine droplets,
sprays from the crisp rush,
reachers for the crest,
slow dancers, lurid with deep thrusts,
small surfers on the foam, riders on the scree.

A rainbow in the fast lane least traveled,
in the underwater silence,
flexes rudders in a rush to the mar
in the clarity of the surface. In an instant
the hook barb sets into the soft palette ridge. There!

An electron on a wire, taut signals, no slack.
A tug on the line between thumb and index, yanks.

The rainbow, slick and wet, the surface of glycerin bubbles,
shocked by sunlight,
the maddened roar of the pool,
regrets the prior impulse,

in a graceful arc, in forbidden air,
catches a glimpse below
of grateful free rainbows,
defies and reasserts its fate, re-submerges,
running out the line, but jerked back hard
with the whirring intake of reel.

In a froth of its own making, frenzied oxygenation,
the rainbow abandons its own locomotion,
to the small plummet of a fall that marks a carry in the forest beside the stream.

A steep slide to a horizontal glide, and is wrenched high in the air.
Too high, too hot.
Indigo.
Violent violets.
Brush smears on cloudless skies,
peek through the tops of the old white pines
that can still be found here.

At the apogee, there is no tension.
No tug.

And the rainbow is weightless.
Flying,

free
fall
back
to the planet.
Hits hard on the surface,

for a moment
half in,
half out.

Descent buoyant to rest.
Finally, silent and spent.
Immersed in cool waters, on the soft polished stones
at the bottom.

The run of the stream is halted:
froze.
Time:
still pulses.

Caws of large birds startle the silence,
with reedy bleats
to mock the passing.

For the moment.
At least for now.
Till then.

© Carlos Chagall, 2013

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