Willamette August, Sydney Landing – a poem by Marc Janssen

WILLAMETTE AUGUST, SYDNEY LANDING
 
It is getting toward evening and the light is falling down
Green tree lined banks make the river look like an eternal corridor
Like one of those classic European architectural tricks
          Where the road, flanked by tall elegant buildings,
          Gracefully curves away from the eye and into an unknown possibility.
The same here with cottonwoods and Oregon ash 
            Taking the place of anything created with 
            The contrivance of human hands.
 
Infinite and limits on display here at Sydney Landing.
 
If the source has limits
    The trees' attention on each bank blocking out the land behind tan cliffs
            Wicked submerged logs
            The tittering of a rock shelf
            Amusing so obstinate in the river’s powerful cut
If this source is limited, then so are we.
 
If the source is infinite
            This water, flowing from the sky to here
            Through another grateful graceful corner then another
            Until it finally finds its way back up into the sky
            Which is right now cloudless and other-waterly blue
If the source is infinite, then assuredly so are you and I.

Marc Janssen lives in a house with a wife who likes him and a cat who loathes him. Regardless of that turmoil, his poetry can be found scattered around the world in places like Penumbra, Slant, Cirque Journal, Off the Coast and Poetry Salzburg. Janssen also coordinates the Salem Poetry Project, a weekly reading, the annual Salem Poetry Festival, and was a 2020 nominee for Oregon Poet Laureate. 

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