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An early spring day on
the upper Santa Ynez, exploring, doing a little
fishing, bringing in his daypack, along with
trout-flies and lunch, the paperback
Greek Anthology made
by Peter Jay
Here were no noises of high-up water
dropping over rock ledges, nor had herders,
in the fi rst big storms last fall, left behind
propped against trees their roughed-in
woodcarvings of the girls of groves, nor were there
young women in cut stone standing under the falls,
smooth beneath their thin dresses of the
creasing water; nor was there any tablet left here,
by a late-summer traveller, in thanks
for the shade and grass and running water.
He had leaned his fl y-rod in the fork
of a weedstalk gray from a year
of the weather, and sat reading
Leonidas, and eating a sandwich. Below him
sprawled the remains of an enormous oak,
long fallen, the underparts softening
into dirt. The chill green fi re of
the week-old grass worked into them, and on
downslope to the little river running clear
in sunlight. A pair of young oaks nearby
checked a cold wind. He was alone
the whole day in that backcountry. Once
he put the book down to rest his eyes on
The gods
of the Greeks
long gone, the
nature of things
from which they
arose is as
it was and
will always be.