The View Across the River
Unnatural lines, unwieldy, graceless, and cumbersome,
Yet possessed of elements of durability, hardiness and comfort.
These were houseboats on the lower reaches of the Umpqua,
Homes to river folk, present eyesores and presumed potential hazards.
Those whose interests lay with eradicating waterway squatters
Continued to press politicians, floating resolutions to change river codes.
Myriad moonbeams shone at night from every window across the waters,
As current, riffles and eddies shattered reflections. Focused on the moving element
Bound between majestic, pine-seeded mountains towards the potent Pacific,
Occasional individuals would reflect on the contrasts among mountains, river and light.
However, over years the mountains are denuded, the Umpqua is fouled, and shimmering
Splinters of night-light shatter, one by one, as the houseboats sink to rules and regulations.
The last, impotent houseboat burned to the waterline a while back as adolescent amusement.
Dancing lights were beautiful from the south bank, as the final iridescent withdrawal was made.
previously appeared online in Pigeonbike, now defunct, in June 2011
There was a blond bombshell
seated in a red Corvette
flying new paper plates.
She was headed east
in the morning on the 215
into a glorious newborn day.
A quick glance to the side,
captured in my memory.
a porcelain face, rouged, ready,
Framed by white-rimmed
sunglasses and pouty lips
steadied in a purposeful smile.
I’d hoped for a glimmer of
eye contact reflected in her mirror
as she pulled ahead of me,
With nothing but exotic fantasies
beside her in the empty seat
of my peek into paradise.
previously appeared online in The Rainbow Rose, now defunct, in November 2011
Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school teacher (remember the hormonally-challenged?) living in Southern California. Like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, he believes that the instant contains eternity.
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