Water Prayer – a poem by Steve Myers

Water Prayer

—for Joe Bruchac and Jerry Ramsay

O plumed, light-shot fountain. Hydraulics of the Holy. O!

As a kestrel hovers, wingtips quivering
on unmoving air, so the lullaby
levitated, feathery. Or a trace
of sound of footfall on the forest floor
in spruce-green Monhegan’s Cathedral Woods.
So much depending on the interplay
of melody and drone, his listeners drawn
in, borne aloft, an ancient weightlessness.
When the Abenaki storyteller
finished, he put away the chambered flute, 
lifted a water bottle, & gazed down, 
briefly, before sipping it. Not thinking,
but a prayer, he told us, to the Spirit
who’d granted Creation the sacred spring.

In the quiet after, a friend told me
he’d recently placed a kestrel box
in Bucks County, where the Holicong Road 
meets Quarry. Where the underground river
ran beneath the feet of the Lenape.
Where every September from my third-floor
window I’d see the aged sugar maple 
on that corner heralding fall, lifting 
copious gallons of water to shimmer
its gold-vermilion leaves, & at night, when
I lay sleeping, releasing an outflow 
back into the soil, so the wildflowers  
rioted around it. O plumed, light-shot
fountain. Hydraulics of the Holy. O!

Steve Myers has published a full-length collection, Memory’s Dog, and two chapbooks. A Pushcart Prize winner, he has recently published poems in journals such as Callaloo, Hotel America, Paterson Literary Review, The Southern Review,Tar River Poetry and Valley Voices.  

1 Comment

  1. Kathy Wilsobn says:

    I was so touched by Christine Penny’s poem “Jesus with no Hands”. For me It evokes the essence of my religious childhood. However it is much more universal in the reality of the deterioration of icons, and still there is the believer! It is also a very NYC poem, beautifully drawn in words .

    Liked by 1 person

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