Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Jaume Ribas, Water Reflections

Tim Bellows

Reaching 80 Together

"Some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
Are one."

love, in time the body crashes its old rowboat.
we understand. it sinks. or maybe
becomes collapsed cargo, forgotten, empty
on the beaten-down docksides of earth.

from our time in silent sitting we know how soul,
no matter what, steps onto its sloop. tall pole mast,
short boom. how, through misty wine and slow talk, we
recall a thousand pasts and times to come.
seems they’re cupped here in popping yellow sails—
sealed with blue stripes.

new sun and excited wind fling us along. we
scurry after whipping ropes along the deck
till time’s day becomes a universe of
distance at the perfect hour. no holding back—

we’re nimble as grand piano masters, fingers
skittering over the impromptus. the music
breathing in pauses. minor miracles. yes—there’s no
holding back on gorgeously mad sails—as they
riot in the winds, tumble like white scarves set loose
in sunlight; everything splashing forward:

voyage made on the turquoise deeps. we fall
for the rolling thigh-shapes of every wave. flirt
with the full seas and moons our mates carry inside.
moons interacting with pearl. pearl interacting
with ocean. ocean the true prompt for tears—and these,
feeding all manner of heartbreak and joy, streak on into nightfall.

again our silent sitting allows invisible turns and we’re this
slow dance, a couple in triple time, turning continually as if
moving in raptures around dance floors, dazed, every cell
slow with old age, effortless, vanishing. we’re finally
music in ocean air, deliberate floodtide of inescapable song.

Watercolors. One Taoist Immortal

he sits out back on the low stone wall—
in the urgency of the light. fall chill.
tightens vest and sash around him.

he coughs on and off—short, dry bursts.
holds pages like petals. understands
the hidden tingling inside twigs and leaves

as buttery gold sun smears up off sky's edge.
as streams run deep underground.
and so it is. imagination in tango turns like

glittering silver fish together in the pond. imagination
allowing unbound kingdoms to fly out the way anyone
might ride in summer lightning. or inward sight glistening

like sand—stratified, arranged by the lords of heaven—
in umber, black and ginger.
so he sits out back, in love with

the unremitting toil of running across the sky.
very late, he rests. understanding what’s down in the earth.
stratified. keen with every tight grain at work,

making water pure.

©2005 by Tim Bellows

Tim Bellows is a poet, writer, and teacher who is devoted to wildland and inner travels. Tim has taught college writing for over fourteen years. He graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has seen publication of poems in a variety of journals, and also in A Racing Up the Sky (Eclectic Press), Wild Stars (Starry Puddle Press), and Desert Wood (University of Nevada Press). See his Web site for more information.

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