The artist channels inspiration’s force,
Makes it heave the heavy rocks aside
That would bind its fluid motion
To secret, silent pools. And once that
Rivulet-rift is cut, the roaring voice
Of the artist echoes long and wide through
The canyons, who ever hence know its noise by name.
But where is my voice, and who knows my name?
Never have I felt the flow’s constant surging course
Break forth and smooth the rocky way before me,
Or teach me my song. I have no river-tongue,
No familiar way.
Far up above, in the root-tangled forest I search
The air, wait out the weather for the one thing,
The first drop, not knowing where it will land.
A mist moistens needles, teases out their tart
Perfume in fresh glades. The air is electric.
It rumbles. Crystal beads form on the edge of wildflowers,
Glisten, and flit to the earth. Dryness turns fertile
And moist—mossy, breathing cool, invisible colors
Upward and outward. Then a wet tap on lichen,
On a goldfinch, a snow bank, the charred bark from
A brushfire long sated.
This scattered pitter-pat of each flourishing first—
The camera click, a pen’s dot and scratch,
Dampening brush daubs, smoothing strokes on clay—
This all-but-silent cacophony will never echo or roar.
But what fertile forest each drop discovers!
This is enough for me.
Graham Shea lives in Quincy, CA and enjoys freelance writing, outdoor adventures, and many different artistic media. He holds a BA in journalism from Pepperdine University, and an MPhil in theology from the University of Cambridge.