Every poem that I post will first be presented on my home page. Afterward, I will move the poems here to serve as a record of my recent work. You’ll notice that a good number of these poems have come as a result of my travels, and sometimes they will relate to a one of my non-fiction pieces as well as some of my photography. Where I think it will help, I will also publish companion pieces with some poems, and this will help to inform the reading of that particular poem. I’m not sure if it is better to read the companion piece before or after you read the poem. After, I think, but you can be the judge of that.
The Black Water
The oars strum a liquid rhythm
as the canoe whispers
through the black water.
Conversations are hushed –
if at all –
and the voice of the jungle
rises in staccato declarations,
echoing a tale of clouded inhabitants.
A hand-signal from the guide
and all movement ceases, then
in the hush, we hear a cry.
The guide murmurs, “Toucan,”
but it is too distant;
something else has caught his attention.
and motionless beneath a dead tree
that is propped at an angle above the water,
we see the black caiman.
Very little of the head is visible –
an arc of pebbled rainbow
and a single jewelled eye
that regards us with alien indifference.
Within the canoe,
we are intruders in this world beyond time,
neither predators nor prey,
Stretching out below the brackish surface,
the cold body of the reptile lies hidden by vegetation.
We pass by,
but on our memories
this moment has been etched in its precision.
Kenneth D. Reimer