Atlas Ecstasy

These lines not drawn by us:

so peaceful so exciting.


Tall in its narrow channel, Adige

snakes past cities so petite

they leave no forwarding address.


Yangtze laughs at madness.

Saskatchewan says nothing of

The terrors it beheld.


Savagery at edge of Seine

and Orinoco, Rubicon and Volga.

Vast Amazon amazing everyone.


Is Mississippi still in training?

Does Yuba stupify with its precision?

What affable economy we wish upon the Klamath.


In a sweet childish hand the Mekong

scarred by magicmarker trails that leak

Onto Afghanistan in ghostly mimicry.


Inverted Cam makes merry in the crook of sorrow.

To think upon the Nile. And wonder:

Will I ever ride upon its slope of paradox?


Sweet Tamise (Thames to you) does not

forsake the pinkish people it has served.

And ages roll on ages while the Rio Grande riddles.


The Tiber sings itself as Tevere.

The Po plays havoc with assumptions.

Lies gilded, silent against thicket shores.


Los Angeles or Tigris cut

To fit both sycamores and swamps

In desert lens. Where will it end?


Lavish ecstasy; guess or expression.

Again again, these lines re-drawn.