I am weary; I am not tired.
Though only sleep and jest are true
I do not think a rest will do.
The river that once ran cold and clear
now chokes with green. Mired
with the accumulating silt of years.
Youth was all constraint and indecision:
a white-cold roiling to be free–
to fall and find an end or some frisson
of hope that more might still become of me.
I grow more and more unsure.
My end is nearer, but not yet near
and new fears replace the first.
I grow more and more obscure,
but am I worse?
I’m warmer now. Would I seek reverse?
The river is not tired; it is slow.
fast fallen to these muddied plains,
from the natal rocks and snow
and heavy with the life it now sustains:
grass banks, and birds, the endless fields of corn,
the salmon nosing their way home.
These lives I sired now strive against me
to find the place where they were born
while I grow flat and fat and monochrome.
Bargaining with the dams of industry
I traded strength for life and light.
And would you have me trade it back?
Give the land a rage, a flood, a fight
and let the world go black.
I am weary; and when I tire
I will not spill that curse
upon the sons of men nor their commerce.
Instead I will bear them and their debris;
will do what the light and love require
till all is spent, and then, at last, the sea.