Streams of Change_Poem for ITEC Conference August 2012

This is about the fourth year I’ve written a poem for the Intertribal Environmental Council Conference. It’s always an honor to be asked, and always a pleasure to be challenged to pen something new. This year I took a poem that I had written several years ago, but it wasn’t good. It was in the trash poems file. The poem is completely different from the original, and I think I’ve brought it some justice.

Streams of Change

Perhaps it’s leaf shadows
sleeping on your sandy substrate
that scatter my thoughts like sunlight
filtered through the canopy of cottonwoods
that tie me to your history.

I’ve witnessed you change;
watched a bank wall of white sand fall
grain by grain,
to cloud the crystal pool.
We humans wonder what stories
flow down the channel as you meander
on your journey to meet with the big river.

Will you reveal that you waltzed
with a thousand black-wing damselflies,
who buzzed with the music of life?
I think not.
I think you weave your secrets
within the deadfall and leaf scatter
strewn along your banks,
and leave me here to guess
about the ecology
locked below the sound of riffles
flowing over rocks.

As a burst of wind whips
willow leaves into flight
a growl of thunder travels
from the South.
I am awakened to find
damselfly wings silent;
riffles and runs now dry.
And I sense a season of change
has arrived.

D.Y.Wiley
August, 2012

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