Don’t pray for the rain to stop.
Pray for good luck fishing
when the river floods.
– Wendell Berry (“Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer”)
And we will fish reflection pools
with Egrets and Great Blue Herons, wade
cloudy skies when the creek subsides
listening to the glorious chorus of tree frogs
croaking symphonies from fresh verdancy—
the canyon clean, all tracks erased
but for the moment to begin again.
What better luck can any god offer
a mad farmer, or mankind?
April 1968: my feet wet with fishing
the great white limbs of sycamores,
naked canopies reflected below me,
recording fresh soliloquies on war
that have not changed but for poetic
editing each time the creek rises—
hope still claims high water marks
beyond the creek bank, despite
clear-cut scars upon this landscape
after a decade’s invasion of machinery
from towns craving to become cities.
We pray yet for good luck fishing.