Iconic Tree at Bank of Lower Shaker Lake

Image 48 of 48

A Picture of Doan Brook


Out of winter sleep
I scout the brook,
too early by weeks

to photograph green,
camera still
dangling hopefully

from my shoulder. Halfway
down in the gorge
April muckers clay,

bends to groundwork
that rises up with May,
curls husks of burdock

in the laps of ironweed
snarled by stage waters,
trammels bend and decay,

dithering my mood
in grades of grey.
My presence in the woods

roams ahead like déjà vu,
surprises the water strider,
solitary and early too.

At the brink between us
tumbled runes incline
burled with fallow moss

soon nature’s green cloth.
To the strider
my truculent ghost

shifts out of the clouds,
an apparition swooped
from the surrounds

hunkering at its bank,
sending it fleeing away
but then darting back

riding the quick rilles
and bumpy cascades,
short of slipping until

lost among waves. Once
motionless among trees,
I taper from all presence

until worry-less and sure
it moors back to sanctuary,
a many-legged partner

floating on swirls of mercury.
We interact like marionettes
suspended from strings

snagged between our worlds,
each caught in the gravity
the other one wields.

We move in equipoise,
balance over a brook
supernatural with noise,

fill duets unforeseen
with the illusory
entangling of our beings,

so much it beggars
the final act
of tripping the shutter.

David Perelman-Hall