Poem today : Climbing the Chagrin River

We enter
the green river,
heron harbor,
mud-basin lined
with snagheaps, where turtles
sun themselves–we push
through the falling
silky weight
striped warm and cold
bounding down
through the black flanks
of wet rocks–we wade
under hemlock
and white pine–climb
stone steps into
the timeless castles
of emerald eddies,
swirls, channels
cold as ice tumbling
out of a white flow–
sheer sheets
flying off rocks,
frivolous and lustrous,
skirting the secret pools–
cradles
full of the yellow hair
of last year’s leaves
where grizzled fish
hang halfway down,
like tarnished swords,
while around them
fingerlings sparkle
and descend,
nails of light
in the loose
racing waters.

© Mary Oliver.