Selected Works, Volume One On Sale
Jerry Prager, author of Legends of the Morgeti vol 1 &2 has published selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works. On Sale at Macondo Books, the Bookshelf, in Guelph and the Eden Mills Writers Fest.
D'Etre Raisins

No sour grapes these,

rather the withered sweetness
of seasons lengthened
to aged fruition
chewed introspectively.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Working on the River

Sun warmed May

The day clear, blue but for trace clouds drifting; the river, beside me, shimmering,
soft breezes quiet. The still surface slips downstream to the spillway;
wet poplar fluff sweeps over. On the far bank
the old mortars of Little Folk's walls
draw me back to the mix in my boat.

The window seat of the Pub shows flowering stands of plants on the bank below: 
purples and greens, gold and straw, serene with the reflection of the iron bridge,
poplar fluff continues to the spillway, to where the water falls in arcs of translucence, sprays of dusk, veils before the shadowed spruce and cedar of the far, darkening bank.

Back to restoring the river wall of the old Magic Mountain,
the water sounds the spill, sluice and fall way, sounds the curvature of the cliffs
before the tooth of time; modulates frequencies of water
ranging from effervescent to boom.

Languid soundscape... disturbed by bridge workers,
by diamond-blade, and generated air.

There are agreements to be kept, promises to be maintained.
Natural rights to defend. Natural flaws to upend.
Work to be finished on the wall of the former Magic Mountain.

July evening

The wind moves the water like a mirage off the rental punt
docked on the village boardwalk, the bow, a fulcrum to fanning surface
rippling reflections of trees, stone walls and concrete embankments.
The Factory ruins are mirrored and moving before their makeover 
by the new lairds of the mill, their takeover unfolding in due season, 
like the slow pool before the sudden rush into arcing waters and explosive spray,
 mists and light and wet before the remaining trees of the future condo world 
get manicured out of existence.

Another Evening in July

The Grand is out the window, I, inside Ashanti writing languorous summer evening,
no trace of the wild river of two springs before, when rains and warm-spell melt
filled the wetlands of the upper tributaries with a gathering gravitas that drained down from the plateau of Osprey headwaters, overflowed the Luther Marsh to Lake Belwood, were delayed by the Shand Dam, raced the flats and ford before Fergus then over its falls downstream to the Bissell spillway and into the slipstream of Elora before hurtling down around the gorge beyond the Tooth of Time.

Run-off creeks had flooded meadows that spring; rains had filled the river outside the window where I still feel the surging spring of two years before, back when a tree trunk busted the concrete of the old spillway, after having first broken the large,
orange buoy chain, strung in front of between the old stone pillars that had once held
the span of the first true bridge in Elora, the span that had become the pedestrian bridge, after which it ceased to be a bridge, though the stone pillars still stand in the river; abutted with a concrete prow to face the upriver onslaught of hurtling trunks and branches, awaiting a new bridge, a re-purposing by villagers or by new money.

Sitting here in the cafe, I can't see where the water dropped beyond the Tooth of Time/Islet Rock into the lower mill pool and pothole below, into the cauldron
of the deepest bowl erupting water through the gorge, whirling torrent around
the karst faults and caverns, replenished out of unseen limestone fissures and tunnels,
a roiling nuanced momentum forced down the bed of the gorge, the tumbled, folded
and exploded run into, out of and around outcrops and stone erosion waves...

the Grand again that spring and the future
of what the new Lairds of Elora have in mind for us... nagging ...

*** *** ***

The building needs more work. The brick is soft above the foundation stone.
The history of the row of stores and shops can be read on its riverside wall,
a portion of which I have just repointed: the oddities of the organic growth of the row;
the gradual coming together as a whole, each distinct building from the front,
has a time line read in the actual sequence of stone work around back.

Idiosyncratic evidence, proof of which walls came first,
are found in the rising cornerstone lines of the buildings with worked corners,
revealing the rest as infill between the nearest corner
and the down river corner of the last building
by the public stairs from the boardwalk to the street.
Down there, the river pools pollution onto the small beach
below the village side of the old pedestrian bridge,
the bridge now gone, the original span across the Grand
for carts and horses, removed years ago.
Bob Robb says the sand of the river bank has a name: Ghetto Beach,
named for the abandoned, termite-eaten apartments in front of the cinema
still known by some as The Ghetto.

Elora's ghetto, Elora's gorge, the divide between those who have and those don't.

On Ghetto Beach, agricultural bloom decays with summer, a view that will be lost under the replaced bridge, no matter who builds it, or its character: the beach legends
will fade, and seasonal blooms vanish below the under-surface of the future span.


Money acts upon the landscape of the ancient karst,
begins with hammering limestone as if it were solid rock and not
ancient eroded coral beds bleeding water from the higher lands.

Money scraped away the trees: the death of a minor forest,
a bit player of woods dispatched in the second scene, not to be remembered,
not to be noticed, though voices of protest gather within ionic clouds
around The Tooth of Time, in memories of waters rising, forces growing
against the foundations of private spans and vistas.

Causes mature; autumn seasons a village receding water,
revealing designs of the new Lairds of Islet Rock;
laying them bare before the first snow falls
and the cold cash of consequence freezes the future
like a postcard of Wedding World bling and chi ching;
a wish-you-were-here-in-Fauxlora-with-us kind of thing,
placed in a shoebox and tied with a string.

The Grand River's people, those who populate its banks, those who publish its agendas, those who come and go and yet remain its people, all those who care and can.
will make a stand on The Tooth of Time, like its upriver prow, facing the brunt.

Even still, the river is rain on an ancient reef,
humanity is poplar fluff drifting into the spray of a spillway.

Life always overcomes, death is always reused.

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