In the dreamtime, millennia ago,
the Aboriginal Ancestors in Australia sang up the country,
literally walked the landscape and sang it into being.
Last night a bird from one of those ancient songs
fell into my sleep and left a path through the air,
changed my tongue and my heart into a language I knew had
been carried down through my DNA and I went to work the next day,
walked to the middle of the woods and sang a river into my arms,
then followed it downhill, knowing it would disappear where it came from,
sinking into my heart tissue, rising up daily as I need it
a new talisman against the darker hearts of developers,
the pavers and city planners,
those feral hogs of greed who eat what’s left of old rivers, and what used to be
acres of wetlands, their bellies filled with dollar bills
and the piss swill of corporate runoff,
all of them never stopping long enough to look up from their
tangled work to understand the literal current of their own blood.
Michael Delp is a writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction whose works have appeared in numerous national publications. He is the author of the following five books from Wayne State University Press – Over the Graves of Horses (1989), Under the Influence of Water (1992), The Coast of Nowhere (1997), The Last Good Water (2003), and As If We Were Prey (2010) in addition to six chapbooks of poetry and being the co-editor of the Made In Michigan book series from Wayne State University Press. He taught creative writing at the Interlochen Arts Academy, has twice been the winner of the Passages North/NEH Poetry Competition, and has won a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.