Leeching nutrients from the earth

There are few things on this cold
earth like the water of a river
on a night when the stars aren’t out,
or are too tired or weak to poke through and dangle from
the tarpaper of space, or maybe just died altogether.
That light finally dimming like a flashlight bulb on dead batteries
– clicking on and then diminishing to an old, familiar, dark. The coldness of
An echo returning
to silence. That’s when

the river becomes more
than a negative dark space in dirt or simply a body
of water. It pulls on a mask of
sinister personification and murders people and animals and the long standing
that Nature is neutral or passive, or even inherently benevolent .
When the moon is contemplating
the vast maw of space and isn’t paying attention, the river becomes the
the place of primitive death. It oozes through the forests and fields and cities  
like a thick tarry snake crawling out of a dirty mason jar.
Slowly leeching
nutrients from the earth

A million struggles rippling out against the high banks and the hulls of boats
and dock pilings creating the low hum of silence pierced
only by the calls of birds
brave enough to make noise
and the eventual light of the sun prying in
through the slats of air.