By the Verde River

Here, where the river slips

like Sanskrit

From the mouths of rocks,

And the hawks in blue swing

Above the mistletoe,

And the dropped


does nothing

On the water’s face;


Where I sway by plum-colored currents,

This as grass, and mad

As a hermit, mad with prayer,

In a hovel of trees,


Where, lit by dawn, the mountains cast

Their blue light over miles;


Where, down by water, I am drowned

In the mountains’ shout;


Here is where I should be heard,

With the birds

in the rocks

And dirt, my words


With the cough of crows

In the wide




Bruce Alderman is an adjunct faculty in the Consciousness and Transformative Studies and Transpersonal Counseling Psychology programs. This original work was a part of the John F. Kennedy University Poetry Reading celebrating National Poetry Month in April.