Riverside, Freezing Autumn Day
Life has clouded over, leaden its sky
all youth sought lays in hideous heaps
ashen experience murking waters, sluggish
as memories clutter silt-glutted channel
where once Spring washed life clean
Whose eyes gaze out? She of the Lake?
Or Lilith with her haught and vengeance?
all man’s works come to waste in Time
though once a line seemed immortal
water eroded it, its meaning sunken
white-eyed fish float, bloated dead
dreams some yesterday left behind
too rancid even for the carrion eaters
and how did they die, these dreams?
Did they protest? No matter. All life dies
These banks were friendly in summer
when she of the fair tresses tarried here
skipping rocks and pleading for love
and that pale reflection—he courted
with many a poem of love and eternity
ice scums its edges, this river, Time
beyond and growing more distant
how deep flow these still waters?
whose is her voice that answers now:
deep enough, Narcissus, to drown.
David M Pitchford
6 November 2008