A Liquid Balance (For Jack Collom)

This post is dedicated to the memory of the great poet Jack Collom, who sadly past away yesterday morning at the age of 85. He was a fantastic writer and a profound teacher. I was lucky enough to be in one of the last of his famous Eco Lit classes he taught at Naropa University in Boulder. To honor him, here is a poem that I wrote in that class.

A LIQUID BALANCE

Whirlpools swirl over rock.

Minerals suffocate underwater,

fish drowning on the shore.

Water, the clearest elixir,

source of life, both good and bad,

cleanse me, replenish me,

inundate me in your liquid sinews

Too much of anything can kill.

Too much fire can burn.

Water can extinguish my burns,

but too much and I wash away.

Spring to stream, snow to sewage,

water, you are shaping me.

I can float away with you

I can ride your waves, crash with them.

Take me where I need to be.

Wet rivulet coursing down

to the creek, to the river,

expanding greater and greater

towards the unfolding ocean.

Heavy liquid weighing me down,

droplets carry me to

the blackness below

my own body of water

returns to where it all began.

Rest in peace and poetry, Jack. You were a shining light in this dark world, and though I only spent a little time learning from and working with you, you have left a great mark on my life. Thank you, sir.

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