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   . . A poem a day
                                    27 August 1999


How can we improve
upon waterfalls cascading
over sculpted cliff, into deep holes
of icy blue-green water, clear like liquid glass
flowing over rocks and boulders with white-capped
splashes?  Watersounds break the silence
like the babble of one hundred wood elves
all talking at once, clinking beer mugs,
laughing and dancing for joy.
Deep in a spruce-fir forest
I strip down to bare skin, dive in, and
am baptized by the cupped hand of Pan.
Writhing about like the trout
who watches from an underwater ledge,
I wonder why we try to improve upon
that which is flawless...

There is nowhere to go from here but down,
downstream to the cities and towns,
where all things are cut into sharp-edged boxes.
I wish I could stay in this pool forever.
Seen with eyes just above the surface,
froglike, my body immersed in frigid water,
the world makes perfect sense.

- Walt McLaughlin