The three of us

The three of us

My two kingfishers still haunt the pond—
           today at noon in the bright sun and breeze
and perfect temperature
           I’m sitting here by one of the gurgling brooks
dipping a French water-pen in the limpid crystal
           and using it to write these lines
again watching the feathered couple
           as they fly and sport athwart the water
so close
           almost touching into its surface

Indeed there seems to be three of us—
           for nearly an hour
I indolently observe and accompany them
           as they dart and turn
and take their airy gambols
           sometimes far up the creek
disappearing for a few moments
           and then sure enough returning
to perform most of their flight
           within sight of me
as if they knew I appreciated and absorbed
           their vitality their spirituality their faithfulness
and the rapid vanishing delicate lines
           of moving yet quiet electricity they draw for me
across the spread of the grass
           the trees and the blue sky
while the brook babbles on and on
           and the shadows of the boughs
dapple in the sunshine around me
           and the cool west-by-nor’-west wind
faintly soughs
           in the thick bushes and tree tops

Walt Whitman

(adapted from Specimen Days by John Lyons)

 

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