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Markings 57 - Poem of the Day

Mountain Stream

after the painting by John Singer Sargent c. 1912-14.

How the cool pastel colours, wet-on-wet

waves his nakedness into the short slide

of freezing froth and clear green water.

Nothing can prepare the body for this tide

of shock and cold. It is both delicious

and vexatious. Impossible to be too

careful here where all the elements wash

towards his harm. The odds like strewn blue

river stones are stacked against him.

He considers the small rapids at his feet;

a waterfall of perfect purple spin..

Then slips beneath snow-melt down and deep.

Gasps at the smallest sudden clutch of breath

feels it only now as such a little death.

Jeff Guess

©Jeff Guess 2017

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