The sand blurs on the dunes with the squall blowing in
A child balances halfway up with arms waving like indecisive scales
Out comes the tumbleweed
This is their time
They are flying and cartwheeling
Careering over the blurring land
First just one, then two more
Rolling at great speed uphill
and along the ridge
Rally drivers but a thousand times more airy and daring
Three more appear – swooping around the sand bowl
tumble dancing on spidery limbs over and over
They are all heading down to the lake
riding the western rollercoaster wind
swerving like wild skiers on a slalom
with no pause or control – taking those corners
At this speed, they’ll make the olympics
but over the brim, the gale hushes
the dancers run out of oomph
thready legs stumble and mire in sand…
That was it for the day folks
Time for a swim
The child runs in, yelling
Image credit: https://tomassobekphotography.co.nz/
Paired impressions in the dark damp earth lend me downhill.
Someone else uses this place but they are not human.
Someone meeker, possibly pronged.
I discovered this spot a while back – camping out.
A secret stream, hiding in forest and flax, quiet and flecked green and gold with river grass –
criss-crossed with black submerged forest flotsam.
Gaze into maps of golden deep, edged by oceans of dark shade.
Twiggy reflections walk down into a wobbly mazy wonderland of inverted roof.
Dragonflies both red and cobalt blue zoom in pairs or hang, wagging up and down.
It’s hard to reach down to the water.
I have to wedge both feet into recessions in the bank and dip one hand to guzzle the cool water, while hanging off a bush with the other. I’m an orangutan!
Having sloshed down as much as I feel like, I can now pause –
pooled by warm sun, gold water and increasingly damp bum.
A single reed curves out over the surface cupping a hollowed out cove.
Watch that floating bit of stick.
It tries to beach itself going against the reed but is batted away and caught in an eddy.
It circles around past my useful bush, back against the mossy bank and my wedged foot then repeats the process, batting that reed back into the eddy and round again.
Four times it does this.
Look closely and the eddy is made up of a series of spinning whirls of water all circling past the curvy reed and backwards round the hollow like a series of juggling balls or spinning moons orbiting – except they lack a planet.
I’ve been so busy watching the tiny emerging threads of water-mills that I missed the fact that my stick has finally managed to escape and vanish.
But here’s another one, trapped in the same cycle, like one of us doomed to keep facing the same dilemmas and responding in the same ineffectual way –
till eventually mere chance lets us spin off and float downstream to the next adventure.
It’s a potter’s wheel that’s spinning ever whirling never stopping
and the potter’s supple fingers that are gliding round the clay
It’s a spider weaving spindle threads which find the sunlight glancing
on a web of thready spirals curving up to meet the day
You can pull it out in funnels, ease it out to purring rumbles
or release a tide of silence where the singer is the song
You can spin it out in circles like those children turning cartwheels
on a shoreline rimmed with breakers that the wind has blown along
Feel the fullness now of gravity, that’s warm and strong and thrumming
like a hive of golden bees or honey dripping off a spoon
The potter sends a whoomph of pulse to a wheel that keeps on turning
for a song that’s softly humming masquerading as the moon
Oh it’s spinning on a finger wearing shoes of sparking copper
lifting off like kindling fire that’s smoking with the beat
Vision misting no resisting and the dance is moving faster
so it swaps to sloppy running shoes and tears off down the street
It’s a theme that’s full of mischief, unexpected dodging turning
and it won’t conform to anything they’re sending the police
hard hats chasing, music racing and those shoes are getting hotter
It’s a band that’s being arrested for disturbance of the peace
Now it’s heading for the mountains to a place it’s been before
escaping to a land of ice where forest parts like hair
Receiving tangled lines of harmony the moss is sifting, seeping –
the song is like a river combing through the cooling air
Gazing down the Makatote to a rusty railroad crossing
and a train that sounds like sandwiches and chocolate chunters by|
Makatote, Makatote, chuntering, chuntering, chuntering by
Now the song is sounding longer stronger deeping down a pathway
to a lonely glowing mountain you can see through to the sky
to that lonely glowing mountain you can see through to the sky
From polyphony and harmony we’re down to just one strand
It’s a tune that you can pick out with the fingers of one hand
The stars ping out in blinking chimes as day falls to the west
and the rhythm’s softly sinking, fading out into a guess