By the bridge below Tzouhalem,
where the native lore is learned,
a cart track leads past edges burned,
through farmer's gate, the bolt returned.
An eagle flies above unseen while
twitter in the trees and green of
scrub and brush this afternoon
gives song to sun with me.
The butter church stands high above
abandoned like forgotten love; behind
a vagrant hedge the river swishes
rolling stones forever down to
unknown edge or destiny -
into mud or deeper sea.
Turn away just at a bend,
go down where this path comes to end
and reach this river's bed, see how
mud traces cover fields of stones
left lying here for now.
I reach the edge of where this body
flowing steady, always ready for
what lies there in its path, takes
away the aftermath of drunken
parties, burning fires, and
detritus of old desires.
Quiet now, I stand in worship,
solitary in my purpose, slowly
take off all my clothes and
enter there where no one knows.
Sun above and Earth below, I
dip my head, bring myself low,
immerse this body, fully sink
and rise again.
Running by and flowing over,
caress me here my only lover;
my cold nakedness and yours
is warmed in sunshine at your shores.
Risen: left behind one life.
Witnessed: left behind all strife.
Though memory still remains of dog,
long lost homes, miscreant wife,
wash old away, bring new life risen -
with a Cowichan baptism.