The Immortal Lake (part two)

Oil painting of Native American woman steering boat passenger in short-sleeved dress shirt




The Immortal Lake (part two)


Gleam of omen on the flat tar lake at sunset

An ice-white sunset without a cloud

That throws the shore’s reflections black

And cold, the sparking furnace of earth’s end

Rippled by the same thin wind

Juxtaposed and never joined, the craft

Emerges from the brown stream’s bend

The hunter’s scalp combed as he crouches low

Under overhanging limbs


His guide in skins of belly-fur, soft buff

She wears a mask of spotted lynx and thus

Is god-in-flesh and bears the lynx’s power

Round her neck are feathered crests

His envying eye

Doubts they have not all been taken

All the sires of generations

He would have guessed the night must fall too soon

The autumn’s span of hours never warm the nest

…and yet

Perhaps in resin trapped these trunks hold heat

Like insulating glass


Each the saga of his kindred many ancestors in voice

Of rushing waters sang a thousand-fold where once the river fell

A roiling pool under hemlock, elders tell

How fishers breathed the misted air

A lifespan of one hundred years was common

In that day

Along the river way a line

Of dying cypress fed the straggling migrants

Who sought the spreading valley that was forest

But the sandstone bluff exposes cattle, fence

And meadow, whirring turbines and a hemisphere of






The Immortal Lake
Oil painting of Ivory-billed Woodpecker flying in cypress swamp

The Immortal Lake (part one)














(2016, Stephanie Foster)




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