Flow Gathering Springs

	     with thanks to Aaron

flow gathering springs
transitive   to flow up down
always through around and ever

Mid-river, the current
unforgiving, a construction crew
Is doing what it’s paid for.
One of them is a flinger of hoses.
First snake to spit out the mud,
second to calm it back level.
Clamber here, there,
somehow they’ve convinced the river
to flow slowly around them

rattle it down,
	dance like a clown,
who knows when the water will crest

Old Firehouse Park, grassy ground,
tree roots just touching the side currents,
smack dab hallelujah in the middle of downtown
Janesville, glory of the old firehouse painted
on a nearby wall. We huddle
in the shade, careful to keep the workers 	
in sight, wait for a few stragglers to join us.
Then we begin to sing,

“join us, join us
 may the river always join us
	don’t risk The Rock
 don’t risk The Rock”

As if we could hinder the mud’s
setting up, hardening,
soften this merciless bridge building, 
hold back the machines, if only for a day,
these semi’s born of Budweiser,
this crane head spiking the sky red.

flood stage, 15.5
may it ripple,
rage our feet home

Next an Ojibway holy man 
leads our wave line in chanting 
and dance. Current stronger now,
drum, drum, a commanding pressure. 
Four times we circle a small rise

small rise, small rise
open your eyes

Spring by spring, rain over,
rain under, legs find the feel 
of cresting. Then lose it, stumble,
find it again.

Too soon I begin to weaken, broken hip
three months before, bones newly
healed, flesh flabby.

Die chant, rage gone,
never quite song.

Flood stage 15.5 feet,
flow up, pray over,
river springs, put out the fire.

©2019, Lynn Shoemaker


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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