Friday, April 17, 2015

Meditating Along the Ohio

To paraphrase Heraclitus,
one cannot meditate by the same river twice.

A cool spring breeze caresses my right cheek
while the warm noonday sun kisses my left temple.
Water passing through a fallen elm branch,
rippling like a mountain spring cascading over rocky ledges,
and a crow calling from upstream,
offer an outstanding outdoor orchestra,
a natural ambient soundtrack for twenty-five minutes of mindfulness.
The roaring of trucks barreling along the highway across the river
fails to disturb spring’s sensual serenade.

Lewis and Clark floated past here,
as did Native Americans and pioneers before them.
The queen of the delta and her sisters also paddled by,
floating monuments to the age of steam.
Now barges full of coal, oil, and gas navigate this river,
this once beautiful river,
leaving behind diesel fumes and oil sheens upon her surface, that
when combined with the plastic trash littering her banks,
serve as a testament to our throwaway, petrochemical culture.

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