The History of the World

             Keeping watch 

on the summer skies,

       the lolling clouds,

the rising curls of

       sidewalk heat,     

I might hold in mind

   that a scant three years ago,

      up in the ascending ground

          of those western wooded purple distances,

            I sloshed around in the Red Creek,

                its dark rusty stain of dissolved tannins 

                  encircling my ankles,

                     its ah so abating rush of cold waters

 And, too, lowering my hips into the

      seeping bathtub warmth of scoured bowls,

          sunk deep into the heavy scatter of a pebbly                                                                    

              old stones  

– And wrapped that day

in the arc of azure and

its drifting pearly scud –

Then seemed I knew 

all there ever was 

to be written of 

the history of the world

Jack Slocomb