Now and Then
Five terraced meres
dammed from a slow small stream.
Black still water images
every trunk and leaf, dark but clear,
a Claude, a dream.
A sword was never tossed in here,
and if it were
no hand would rise to catch it.
This is a place without legend
but not less magic.
Blue thin brilliant dragon-flies,
swallows’ acrobatic flawless flight.
A fish jumps at the corner of my eye,
back into black unglimpsed
as some thoughts dive out of the light.
Ripples are quickly still. Again seen
in the mirror’s tinted grey—leaf-greens,
white birch-trunks, blue sky caught,
hide darkness where that fish is moving
like an escaped thought.