on the stream-bank, his feet
dangling. He could hear water
going past slowly, hidden
under leaves, among the stones.
A clear, crescent-shaped pool lay
along the bank, just upstream.
The massive trunk of the tree
let down a tangle of roots
over the pool. The water,
motionless, mirrored the roots.
Leaves on the pale bottom-stones
lay draped, their colors still fresh.
had magical properties.
This stayed clear and fresh, for him,
from then on -- the time of day,
and the season, did their part
no doubt, and that cold, dank slope,
and the bright fi eld at his back.
would soon be cooling, a slow
fl ow of air would wind downstream,
its chill seep into the folds
of his clothes; but this air still
was mild. As he watched, the light
weakened on the chalky-white