Up and Down the River
Tides of clandestine force drag the great brown ribbon
In a diurnal dance over a rolling world
Water hyacinth embroider the surface as if a woman
Squinting in the sultry sunlight had stabbed her needle in and out, in and out
Clumping green nonsense along the moving weft and weave of the wide band.
Morning moves it left evening moves it right, a conveyor belt of water
Pushed and pulled by the calm circulation of moon and tides
Divides the diners on one bank from the workers on the other.
On the river’s edge we eat and drink
A sample of human tribes under the flame trees
With ardent red candles held up to the monsoon sky
Here clouds stack impossibly high
peaking white with light somewhere near God
Dragonflies zizz and zap above the bank their eyes seeing us in millions,
Like human dong, the ridiculous currency of this place.
On the next table four people sit.
She hovers over one, lithe and young against his livered skin.
He impresses her with Snapchat and laughs hoarse as a gander,
A Don Corleone to this little skimmer, oohing over his talk of casinos
And sailing on Sydney Harbour in his yacht.
She has dived and scooped up a golden future with her wide young mouth
And sits like a gannet on his fortune
With a snort another guy gets going, hips locked, tendons tight
From too many years thrusting and lying afterwards
A balding chimpy man, his nads swing in his shorts as he rolls away
Under the flame tree whose candles burn not for him
down to the pontoon of cast aways
where desires rock in the soft caress of the water hyacinths
drifting in verdant islands towed by a force greater than any man’s dreams.