the river darkens towards night
Above calm river’s liquid glass
translucent waxing moon hangs
over smoke from distant fires.
An eastward breeze launches
regattas of crisp leaves,
brown, upturned palms
chasing distant hurried skeins
of cormorants, returning upriver
across the afternoon’s oblique and golden light.
Landscaped for sunburnt
children and public lovers,
a coarse and sandy lawn
beneath fragrant birdsong gums,
smoothbark branches beckoning
office-struck humans to
space before the sliver of iron-gold beach.
We sit, gratefully,
on weathered hardwood benches,
eyes facing outward,
conversation and hearts
crossing the sweet, cool air between.
We and the congregation
of reluctant workers turn
towards limestone halls and cloisters.
Alone and ancient, the river darkens towards night.