The Harvest

For four hundred and fifty million years
the lamprey, the nine-eyed ancients,
have come up the river
to thrash and mate and cling
with cyclops mouths
onto the rocks under
the waterfall.

Today the Umatilla tribe
has come to Willamette falls
to dive under the bone cold water,
to fish and to say
to the few lamprey who have come–
we have both seen
lean times before.

See you next year. 

4 responses to “The Harvest

  1. Lampreys, Umatilla, cormorants. Who will we drive from the river next?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this very much Burl. Simplicity and understatement. And a hint of deeper concerns. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. Your response reinforces something I’m trying to pay attention to–express something as simply and as true as you can and it will stand on its own and forget about poetry with a capital P.


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