WATER-BEARING by Daniel Barnum

slip on mud slick

 

just past the head

 

point of the path

 

land fairly un-

 

balanced on leaf

 

dust ground up

 

under feet bare

 

ground beneath

 

that rarely seen

 

at scale but never-

 

theless teeming

 
 

~~~

 
 

mud carpet made

architectonic with

monocot husks. how

close will trespass

let me see black

shapes approach

the forest’s front door?

banks built up

by roots, blistering

sorts of bark and

poison ivy’s allergic

blisses slope the cause-

way down into river.

branches wrenched

through liquid move-

ment back to gas

or solid. through three

transitional states

water remains

perfectly neutral

returning; rises

and dissipates

according to given

limits knows where

it’s going remembers

landscape at molecular

levels will not end

willingly becomes

whatever needs it

without thinking

 
 

~~~

 
 

mud shore frozeninto solidcross-hatch

 

crushedtallgrassland bows

 

under icepath cutsa gnarledstaircase

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

your thumb’sa compassat whatangles do

 

weather-felled limbspiercewinter cover

 

one way to knowwater isby hand