Written in response to a word list from the site Red Wolf Poems
The mallards always told me
magic wasn’t in the cards—faithless magic,
with its trumpeted tricks and striped wands,
scented and false as dolls. Magic that promises
Fire, torrents of Possibility, loud cascading tides of
sleight of hand, disguising the hard kernel of trick
written in dark ink at the center of the river.
This true river has no center, only currents textured by
oars, stones, weeping willows striping the banks.
Forget magic. Follow the mallards who know
the river so well, their glowing selves swimming
Home, whole lives swimming in the muck-thick mists
of this real world.
Magic isn’t in the blood, this empty scenery. Forsake
Artifice, forsake the gramophone’s tinny melody
camouflaging the music of the river. When you Dance,
Dance through the dual worlds.
Forsake the blare of magic tricks for unknowing,
for the bend in the river,
for mallards moving in and out of this cage
the bars limpid, impermanent.
The cage door always open.