May 2008 - THE POTOMAC

The Voyager
   John Kryder

An air for Malcolm Nakusiak and Farley Mowat

Ride well
through fog and foam,
ride storms
of fear beyond,

turn rightside
up what turned
upside down,

turn around
and spin spin
your cockpit
to fly waves

before they fly
you, before your egg,
like your heart,

is broken, opened
to take the hit,
turning  away
from a lump

of barnacled
to that gift

we all need
for the hard rock
of hate to melt
or to be freed—

to hold a hand
that did not know

what it felt,
what hands can see,
what hearts can find
when lost in waters

deep for finding,
when wrecked on shores
vast for knowing.


The Brooklyn Bridge

A view from Fulton Market at Pier 17

I have been like water
insistently flowing to you,
not as the East River flows
from Governors to Rikers,

but like rivers that run
down from Catskill heights,
down from limnetic waters
of the liminal mind:

I see how you rise
as those mountains,
spanning the shores
with your triumphant arc,
your crescent hope
effortlessly drawing my eyes,

which rise again in the tracery
of your cables to twin peaks
that walkers seem to mount
as they cross from Brooklyn
to New York, New York to
Brooklyn with more arresting speed
than any of the cars and trucks
piercing your tunneled frame below:

they walk above trucks and cars, and stand
and gaze from your planked and cabled ways
upon machines, upon insistent water:

at this poor and puissant port,
tiered and towered and timed,
you awaken green and natural
thought, speak to what is made

and what is not, standing as
a mountain of truth, spanning
the meretricious and the good,
the commercial and courageous,

spanning the gracious and the mean,
spanning all the turbulent moil,
spanning all that roils the heart

with granite calm,
with the possible dream
and its possible peace.

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