Robert Vivian

Moon, River, Snow: A Dervish Essay – Micro Essay

by Robert Vivian

Cold wind touching my face at night close to the woods as if to say goodbye and I dream grandfather by the banks of the river, I dream fish under skein of ice waiting for nymphs to emerge, I dream the chance to wade again in April and I dream listening woods waiting for winter dawn and winter light empty as a windswept and barren room with all the windows open and moon, river, snow, one word in three becoming me and wanting to shine and one word in the clean hush you bring to the birth and death of every star and every clean becoming and how dear you are to me, so near and far away and intimate as breathing and simple prayer that whispers clean, clean, let go, let go, that whispers already leaving, already spendthrift and gone and cold clear water that wears away pebble and stone to give them glow and each of you a reverie all your threadbare own and almost full moon above whiter than dove tugging at river and blood do you stare because of chasm, do you stare because endless drifting stream of universal dust is all you know in star struck motes holding everything and how river is drawn to you, how it moves to gather your spirit like a lover who wants to please and snow are you glad to be here, are you truly bride worshiping in the temple of hush and snow what is it like to cover things, rake, fence, hoe, and apple cart, and moon tell me what to do with this yearning, and river tell me why I think of you as dear someone who died long ago come back in the shape of winding water flowing to the north, flowing evenly with the whole earth to cover, of gravity and remembering and new dawns breaking yolk of sun and the subtle sighing of leaves that whisper every season and withered stalk of corn, and moon, river, snow and all the elements, fire, ice, wind, and wave, lead me beyond every false and fleeting thing to that place I keep forgetting and wanting to get back to, open mouth under the stars and empty hands in the woods listening and watching for you, moon, river, snow in the hush that is winter and winter listening, winter waiting and breath made of briefest steam that shows how quick I am to pass into cloud and this breathing the writ and proof of it and unrolling scroll so soon to disappear, this breathing reaching out to you, moon, river, snow so that I may become a part of you again, ancient fathers and mothers in the ageless work of staring, carrying, and falling without a sound as you blanket the rose bushes and the watering can and the overturned wheelbarrow like someone who is on his knees after a great bout of sadness or because he has stumbled and can’t get up again.

Robert Vivian has published four novels and two books of meditative essays.

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