Poem: sunset over the kenai river

sunset over the kenai river


By Morgan Chesley, Kasilof

can’t say I’m moved by moving water

or by surrounding trees

by leaping silver salmon

leaping into eagle feet-

can’t say I’m moved by nature-

it’s the spaces in between

that get me.

liquid life, the stuff of

gently aging days

like a god in agony or maybe love melted

all the world’s beauty

the centers of daisies

the curve of a tiger’s shoulder

saffron and passion and peaches and the hunger

of a wildfire ten thousand miles across

and then he spilled it everywhere

and it came alive on me

and beneath the seagulls’ wings

and in my mother’s hair


oh, the glory green of those trees beneath

that graceful golden peace

tasted so sweet

and it sung as it spilled through the river

following salmon backs upstream

and after the show as I turned to leave

I caught a glimpse of the half-moon

fixed forever in that gilded light’s

dear love.


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