Peace on Earth

There is a lake in Utah
made by the Americans of the 50s.
Over the years, I’ve found Powell
to be a most extraordinary place,
one worthy of continual return.
On Thursday night, Sept. 15,
the houseboat was anchored
in a horse-shoe cove,
floating on dark green waters
three hundred feet above
the drowned floor of ancient,
magnificent, and unknown
Glen Canyon.

After-dinner drinks were taking
place on the beach, which was
lit by the steady blaze of
plentiful driftwood, surrounded
by the occupied chairs
of our merry octet.
All well, good, dandy.
There is no finer place
on our planet to shoot the shit,
beneath the creamy blossoms
of the belladonna moonflowers.
A cranial voice pipes up.
“Hey, you can sit around the fire
and gab back home. The Lake,
however, beckons. Can you
afford to ignore such a thing?”

The kayak slips quietly away,
heading out to the open water.
The air temperature, 78, is the
same as that of the Lake,
its surface as luxuriously flat
and placid as a bowl of milk.
The desert breeze is not here,
not now, anyway,
so to pilot and propel the kayak
is simple, nearly effortless,
as if gliding on the top
of a warm, liquid dream.
It veers to the left,
moving from cove to open bay,
and instantly, the houseboat
is gone.

Here, then, is the lake,
a spectacle of deluxe limnitude,
illuminated by a near-full moon
that splits into 10 moonlets
when cleaved by paddle stroke.
Moonlight upon the colossal
tan and burgundy walls
bright enough for shadows.
Quasars in the lunar-bleached
starfield shine as pinpoints
in the still still waters.
A horned owl in a close canyon
gives itself away
with his ominous hoots.
The peace of Powell. Total.
Out here, one feels like
John Muir. Ed Abbey.
Tim Treadwell.
Anyone who’s ever lost it

Minutes later, a fish splash
awakens me.
So serene is this place/time,
consciousness took its leave,
with me seated in a kayak,
wine bottle between my legs.