Issue Eighteen - Summer 2011

Near Perpetua

By Robert Hill Long

The creek here does not fail at the height of summer.
It’s an echo chamber, undersong
of winter’s orchestral weight, when violin sections
of fern-frond bowed rain’s legato.

At night when I lie in the tent, creekwater
is like starlight arranged for strings.
Tomorrow it will transpose the sun
into this music that lies so close

and lasts forever. I’m not listening alone. The fir
lifting a two-hundred foot exclamation
says Yes with its roots; many more

accompany it, climbing downslope to the pianissimo
of water humming west. This is not winter,
this is not summer, the trees sing, this is forever.

Copyright Long 2011