Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Perfect Skipper

(a relevant, refurbished original poem about anticipation, disappointment, and resilience)

The wilderness traveler
happened upon the stone
and stooping seized it so to skim
out over the slow bend in the river.

The canyon walls were growing dim.
The blue stripe of sky had kept
for a day's time the cirrus clouds bound,
but now they ignited and burned
rose and apricot into their native chalk tone,
and seemed to unravel, or
suddenly grow fonder of infiniti and forever,
for without so much as a sound
they surrendered to the loftiest winds and dissipated.

Out along the river he merrily stepped,
and in his hand the thin flat rock turned.
Such a skipper as this,
he anticipated,
seven or eight times might kiss
the green and silver surface
yet still reach
the purple shale slides strewn
along the opposite beach.
And if on impact it should splinter?
Well, then--
it will have fulfilled its purpose.
He grinned,
cradled then gripped
his perfect skipper--
and with precision let it fly.

The downstream rapid's din
nearly disguised the kerplunk.
It skipped
not once, and then it was sunk.

Were it winter,
even late autumn,
it might have skated across like a hockey puck.
But swollen with the melted waters of June,
the green river bend
offered no such luck.
It absorbed the stone like a coin,
conducing it to join
its rolling gravel at the bottom.

For a long time he stared where the stone had gone.
It's just as well, he thought,
then looked to the deepening night sky,
taunting with its iridescent Dipper.

He spat, ambled on,
and soon forgot.

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