Do you ever feel dried out and empty, with no zest for life? I know I do. I am thinking that feeling is a common human experience. The happy parts of life are there but seem just out of reach. The heat of guilt and the sun of duty sap our strength, along with many other troublesome things. But I also believe that if we work for it and wait for it, relief comes to us, in the form of a smile, a kind word, a personal achievement, and many other ennobling things. In this poem I used a dried-out lake bed as a metaphor for the hard times in life, trusting that hope hangs just around the bend of tomorrow.
Lily Pond in Summer Drouth
The lily pond has
completely dried out, birds
have picked the flesh off white-boned fish, old
slimy greenery mats into dark
paper that flakes and flies
away like cindered news:
the sun has sucked all moisture from the muck:
the bowled bed lies cracked and ravined
in a million baked-mud islands:
the definition of a desiccation:
red sliders scooting off their sun-logs, fiery
newts crawling with wet leafy fragility,
butter-cream lilies crowning: lotuses
bursting with wisdom and beauty . . .
but the spring will not flow:
the pond has dried and died:
and there is nothing for it
but to settle in
until tomorrow’s heaviness sheds
Roger is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road. The book tells the true life story of an obscure farm road and its power to transform the human heart. The book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon. See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.