in the swamp
among the cedars,
it's always a little cooler,
a little darker and more damp,
the green ground squishing with each step.
The water seems eager to swallow back the land
as if solidity is on loan.
The swamp is so black
anything could be waiting down there.
Anything at all.
Out here among the invisible birds
calling from nests
thick with wispy hangings,
shiny insects scamper
hiding in the clumps of grass
where a water snake
seeks what little sun is offered,
hauling himself from his watery haunt
to cease his hunting till he warms.
I am out here in the swamp
for the rising bubbles
of a snapping turtle surfacing,
knowing no blood will be seen
because the water is too dark.
The kill looks like churning mud,
and when it's over all that's left
is a handful of gray feathers floating.
The snake raises his head to find the moving sun
in his constant search for heat.
The god of this swamp is saturated,
and all his angels have dripping wings.
Their songs are the most ancient songs of all --