By Marian Glaser ©
Hope paddled her canoe, enjoying the lighted golden path
the sun had painted on the water. Each time she lifted a blade
drops fell back, each containing a miniature world.
She still remembered the hydra moving majestically,
standing on its head, then its bottom end, then
out of her microscope’s field of view. Now she was more aware
of the sparkle and completeness of each drop
even when separated from the larger whole of the lake.
The silence of this canoe had allowed her to get downwind and stop
to watch that black bear picking blueberries, conveying
each round morsel to his mouth with claws that could kill.
It had also allowed her to paddle up that creek
and see those purple wildflowers signaling the end of summer.
They had reminded her of her four-year old self
bending to smell that red rose in her grandmother’s garden.
She had felt that same immediacy then and last night making love.
Tom would be on shore, cooking the creel full of
perch he’d caught earlier over the fire they’d built.
Their two energies combined
into something beyond their single reach.
The new system was hard for them to understand
even though they’d both tried for the last five years.
Easier to follow other couples and let one dominate
while the other withered.
Today she had seen synergy everywhere
reaching a new level of complexity when
organs became arranged in patterns to
make plants, animals or humans.
She caught sight sometimes of a deeper system
in which she was as small as a sun-beam dancing mote.
Those glimpses were both humbling and exhilarating,
making her feel both infinitesimal
and part of a greater whole.
The mystics had tried to describe that
and had become as inarticulate as herself.
Now it was time to paddle home to Tom, to share
and savour that perch while they
watched the sun sink slowly,
adding beautiful colours to the clouds,
flowing from one shape to another,
creating a dynamic system
unreproducible by photographs or paintings.