Near Lake Jessup

Text, reading and photographs by Robert Towe



Out over the gray wind-scurfed estuary
a smoky winter sun has risen, white feathers
of torn cloudy light, the blown down of egrets.
An empty page of morning, scribed sharp
with penciled silhouettes: slate-blue herons
pensive, hungry, stalk the choppy waters,
walk the windy slop---storm-washed eelgrass
strokes the dead and hollow stalks
of broken salt-marsh reeds. 

The muddy air blows sour, sweet, salty, wild
fragrant sacraments of flesh and empty shell,
washed-up scales and bits of fin, pieces
of cold-bleached bone.
Wind-blown feathers let go the sky,
fall surrendered into the hours of death---
---the endless life of deathless rhythms. 

Cold silver mist lifting, now we view
the wide white morning scape of distances.
Waterfowl scribble black jagged lines  
of wings, writing across the low horizon,
the storm-smoked page of eastern sky. 

This rough morning canvas still wet, etched
ragged spires of cypress towers, osprey
bowers nested high in twisted crags and crests.
Old fires scar the stalks of tall burnt pine.