Steven DaLuz   © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Dipper


Inlet rises to the surface
And unrefracts to a lunge.

This is the grub and die down
That defines the genius of stream;

Defines the genius of the thing
That's in it.

Consider, too, the whir over skim
Of a passerine walking, and feeding,

Under water in this fast-flowing corner
Of the natural world or that word

Without end we call “adaptation.”
The adaptation of how it sits on an

Outcrop with short tail uplifted and bobs
Before dipping its white gorget

Into the below of fresh-brewed
But low-cut rapids.

Deliberate under water,
It works its way

Through a clean debris of nooks
And crannies going after invertebrates

Until it steps out—sudden, like—
And takes stock before heading

Off, low, to its overhanging nest
Set no more than a matter of feet

Above the constant water on rock
As in that sound, that stream.

 

 

James Mc Elroy
Copyright © 2015  

James Mc Elroy currently teaches at the University of California, Davis. His articles and reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. Recent poetry publications include poems in Avocet, Vox Poetica, and the Buddhist Poetry Review.


Table of Contents            Next Poem            Guidelines