Higher Ground

During the floods

We imagined higher ground

How it wassailed us with promised grandeur 

The way wandering philosophers proffer

Stark and mountainous vagaries

That none can ever reach

Except Tensing and Hillary

And the small fawn sparrow

They startled on the crest

When the waters failed to recede

We thought of broader bridges

Crossing vast, immodest swathes

To new and celebratory shores

Isolated but still standing

A wary freeway pass

Animals stymied in their crossing

Despite the crocodile trawl

Of ripples veering from unknown objects

The rent teeth gnawing

An opaque surface

Muck and slick and indolent

As if this ark were of a sudden

A peaceable place

Like in the idylls of latter day saints 

Lambs and lions in repose

Trees garlanded with garbage wreaths

All those broken toys

Subarus, consoles, drowned kites fluttering

Fish in sublimation

Half caught in the turbulence of unexpected freedom

Dead blank star smashed screens

Mired in neon vacancies and silt

Offered up to the entrails of monsters 

From which they were once made

Red as dawn’s blear warning

In hope

Of water’s gone

Transparent as the newly swollen day