Sun bleached bone,
etched in stone the figures and faces
of this place.
Where the river rolls rock to sand…
Sand to water.
Water is Home

We white men came
as they were told we would.
They were told we would…
And now each time the moon passes
so does a piece of you.
Gone from now to secret place
where the river rolls
sand from rock…
Water on sand.
Water is Home


a boatman’s love affair

We tease each other, the River and I;
She carries me slowly toward an overhanging rock.
I let myself be drawn in until the last moment,
Then I take a few long smooth strokes with my oars
And silently slip by her innocent shore.
I softly caress her smooth liquid surface
And watch my swirls and waves dissolve into her.
We share our peace as I drift with her,
Enjoying her vistas of steep canyon walls
Dusted with hazy chaparral,
Interrupted by cliff hanging cactus and bare precipices,
With soaring hawks and eagles at the canyon’s rim
Against white clouds and blue sky.
A breeze blows over us and I dabble my oar in her ripples.
I feel her cold spray against my warm skin
As she capriciously slaps me with a wave.
As we play together, feeling each other,
I feel intensified and close to her.
A subtle heavy rhythm begins to grow from deep within her.
The palms of my hands start to sweat as I dip my oars
And take long, firm strokes,
Holding myself upon her smooth flowing current.
Her rhythm is heavy and strong
Swirls and whirls begin to disturb her calm.
She moves faster, stronger.
I am being drawn in.
I go anxiously, excitedly, willingly.
I drop into her.
She grows to a frenzy.
I stroke hard and quick.
We rise and fall.
My raft slaps her liquid surface.
Dropping, rising, flopping, splashing, plunging,
She pulls me deep into her,
Embracing me with waves.
Kissing me with deluges of water.
Together we ride and fall, crashing and writhing.
The climax is only an enduring moment
As she subsides to a frothy calm.
Spent, I float out of her throbbing rapids.
Satisfied, gratified,
Enamored and exhausted;
Feeling ever so much
closer in our new calm.

Bob Melville