David K. Leff has one poems featured in the edition.
Photo © Doug Kerr
There’s no tonic like the Housatonic.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
Shadowed by green humped hills,
anglers cast into riffles
and pocket-water where trout
linger among rocks, rising for flies
with concentric ripple kisses.
Carefully they wade over cobbles
as swallow acrobats dart
and swoop for insects.
Absorbed in the swash and roll
of the river as it seethes beneath
the barn-red covered bridge,
they briefly awaken to the rhythmic
rumble of tires on dry boards.
Occasionally they pull magic
from the water like a dream hauled
from the depths of sleep, glistening
silver, rainbowed or stippled in lucent
pink, orange and yellow.
But every shining, defiant beauty
is returned before drowning in air,
as PCBs secretly poison sediments
where the miracle electric age chemical
bringing “good things to life” lies
layered like fossils, marking a time
when fish were turned to forbidden
fruit contaminated by knowledge.
David K. Leff is a freelance writer and photographer from Collinsville, Connecticut. He is the author of three nonfiction books and three volumes of poetry. His latest book, Finding the Last Hungry Heart, is a novel in verse about the confluence of the present and the 1960s. It was released this year by Homebound Publications. David is on the board of directors of the Riverwood Poetry Series and has taught nature poetry at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. He is the town meeting moderator in Canton, Connecticut and was Deputy Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection from 1996 to 2006. His work can be found at www.davidkleff.com