An Everglades Encounter

by John Grey

What emerges from swamp,
spiraling like a moving S
or coiling up on itself?
What announces
primal life force
to a man’s quickened breath?
What can strike like lightning
or slither away on its belly
into grass or water or myth?

The floating island
seems drawn by ropes underneath.
Wings of stork and egret,
flutter with the vibration.
Whatever wind seeps through the heat
dies from the effort.

What’s retained by the memory,
shimmering rainbow-colored, cocked head,
eerie as evil?
Why is the surface stillness like lidless eyes?
And silence – why does it feel like vigilance?

Dusk cautions the footsteps homeward.
The light is not resourceful enough.
Crawling nerve ends encircle the brow.
The heart unsettles.
The brain craves access to more wisdom.

 

Artist: Jamie Frier

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.