And The Old Man Speaks of Paradise

Do not move. Let me speak of a river in paradise

A turquoise gift from fiery stars that is paradise

How do you measure a river’s weight, color, smell, touch?

How do you feel the veins of sand in a breathing paradise?

Eons of earth story, long before rocks, plants or bones

Bulging with flesh and blood in every corner of paradise

You call me Old Man, 12,000 years old, but really I’m a baby of

River Warren, swollen with glacier water flooding the paradise

My torso sloughed by old ice, two cities on sandstone bluffs

Headwaters of a 2350-mile road towards the gulf of paradise

A walk along the beach, a bag of rocks, fossils and agates

Each tells stories of the river, land & life — a kinship of paradise

Come to me at dawn or dusk, by foot, canoe or a single shell

To greet eagles, cranes, fox, trees…a ten-mile gorge of paradise

Gar, bass, goldeye, redhorse, bowfin, stoneroller, buffalo, drum, sunfish

Sickleback, darter, walleye, dace, mooneye…in the waves of paradise

The St. Anthony Fall that walked up 10 miles from Fort Snelling

Clams and shells in Kasota stones — layered history of paradise

Put your fingers into the bluff, and pull a handful of sand

From the Ordovician sea, each perfect to make a paradise

From time to time, I take you into the amniotic womb

A reminder of our origin from a black, red, white, blue paradise

Do not dam me. To move freely is to evolve is to live

Lock feeds fear feeds hate feeds violence to the base of paradise

The Mississippi, temple on earth, home of all living things

Would you tread with love, through the heart of paradise?

We are water — H2O — two hands under an open heart

Pulsing, dissolving, bonding the earth to a green paradise

Stop seeking before or after life, for a paradise

Already in us, in each cell of being that is paradise