The path up the hill in the forest
Has been walked by so many feet
Both human and much wilder
For so many thousands of years.
I see the prints of their passing.
The mud vibrates with all that life.
Today water courses down.
The rains of days and days streaming towards ground
In such sheets of clear drops
Onto the tops of trees
Their leaves now open and green.
Dripping down through boughs and branches
To leaf-mold and dirt below
Seeking the places where the ground is lower
To run in streams
New and old.
All these droplets of water
Desiring, as they fall
Yearning to collect themselves into one
Into stream, into river, into ocean
They must be together again.
And some human hand has made a small dam
Of rocks right here
In the gathering stream
And another just there to guide it
With gentle redirection, so sure
To plummet down the side of the gulley
Into a bigger swift-rushing torrent,
Singing loudly there
Where it will not seem to make a river of the path
Where humans pass.
But plunge on down streambeds,
Down hillslopes, to ditches,
To gutters, to river
To swell its waters
And bring the leaf dust and the soil that they found
Thus make the waves of that water so brown, with such frothing
To stroke the banks of earth, grass and trees
And caress the soil to come join them
Racing away in some wild heathen dance
To once again all be one
In that cold caldron of salt and sea creatures
That unending, immense
Soup of life.