Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Audacity of Ripples

They spread forever, don’t they?
Like me and you.
We riff on our smiles,
silent jazz in the café
at the end of the block
where we come and go
every day
like wavelets,
forever disturbing
the smooth surface
of the morning
with a music
only we can understand.

At outdoor tables,
conversation leaks
into the street,
gets carried away
by cabs or spread
by the dapper man
with the cane
who taps a ripple
every few feet or so.
It never settles
into entropy
or a single sip
or Chardonnay,
at least from I can see.

Two lovers kiss,
and the meeting of lips
becomes children
and pain and years
of calendar pages
from the pantry door,
the brood taking
their parents’ momentary bliss
down ruts and roads
and highways
past New Years Eve
and a new millennium,
the kiss far behind.
Frankly, such staying power
boggles the mind.

A stone falls
or is tossed,
and the fluid moves
in circles, concentric,
like God,
a petal in the pond
rising like the heave
of a white bosom
that does not want
to end a dream
or the act of love.
I’m not sure
who dropped it
or how the motion
These ripples,
kinetic prophets
of things to come,
like ever-branching
fractals in snow,
find the ocean,
or so it is written,
where his kingdom,
it is said,
goes on and on.

~William Hammett

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