It’s not Wolf Creek, but it will have to do. If I could have had a decent camera with me a few Sundays ago as I floated down the creek that borders our property, staring up into the cerulean sky with only a few cumulus clouds floating by, then I could have captured the exact image that inspired this reflection. But generally I don’t take a decent SLR camera (let alone a cellphone) with me into any body of water, not to mention floating along with that camera in my hands to snap that perfect picture for social media. I go into the stream to get lost!
Just last week my chiropractor asked me what influences my poetry, and without a beat I said nature, though life circumstances that don’t always include nature are fair game as well. It was only May 17th when I last shared a poem inspired by Wolf Creek (you can read it here). It’s not that nothing else in life inspires me, but in the hectic pace of life, especially as I finished the school year and then jumped right into grading essays for the AP English Literature exam, our creek has been a constant source of restoration. Like the water ever flowing by, it brings me new life every time I enter it. And when I’m in it, I have no thoughts about my job or even posts for this website. But it’s easy, once you leave it, once life calls you back to so-called “reality” to lose touch with the peace, hope, and rest it brings.
This sonnet, like William Butler Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” aims to remind me of this profound experience I had in Wolf Creek and how I take an even greater River with me in my heart wherever I go, a river I can access anytime, any day. I just need to be willing to “lay down and let the waters bear me up.”
Vincent H. Anastasi - 2022 Lay down and let the waters bear you up surrendered to the triumph of the stream where deafened ears now hear though wholly plugged and stillness soaks your soul in purling peace. Unmoored, the current bears you still afloat as yielded you are dead to all but sky where dreams like clouds take shape as billowed hope reflected in the iris of each eye. Around the rocky dams now freely flow with peace and hope to ballast fickle flesh, 'til stillness pervades everything you know and deeper vision steadies you with rest. All burdens sink and worries wash away when through your heart the river runs always.