River Spelunker

by Gord Sellar

out where my
boots did not go
old pliant soil
sinking underneath my shadow

at first hearing only rushes’
rasp-dry tongues; sliding
into ooze

there is a shadow of me
voice across the water
thick loam, heavy arc
down to secret bedding

geese, numberless pairs on
mirrored water,
bugle throats diving
wing-fins spread
under broken light

my feet, backbone, haunches
dripping shady earth,
tremble at bedrock;
dwelling under that tremble, a droning
voice, bass trumpet beneath
sound, spreading in solid waves, in
sprawling caverns, wombs
of clay.

layered stone, rhythm
of stone, pushes me
up, into air, my
voice clarion,

— Saskatoon, 1998

February 10, 2012

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