Luci Shaw is a poet, essayist, retreat leader and teacher. She’s published eight books of poetry, and her poems have appeared in publications ranging from Books & Culture and The Christian Century to The Southern Review. She is currently Writer in Residence for Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Shaw was born in England in 1928, and has lived in Canada, Australia and, since 1950, the United States (currently Bellingham, Washington).
This poem is from her latest collection, Harvesting Fog.
Frio River, Texas
The river, up to the ankles,
invites our feet to test its depth and learn
through the skin of our soles
how water chisels limestone,
knickling it, leaving the long print of fluid
all along the stream bed. We discover
what it might be like to walk on water,
and how the stone supports the flow
composing its own fluid music, a naked sound
around us as we wade, a lilt that lightens the heart.
Together, sun and stone and water write
their rippling continuo between the hills.
Sometimes the lens of water, like an eye,
deepens to a blue profundity, the way
music needs no words, being
its own language. Its own measure.