This poem by Gary Snyder is from his book “Mountains and Rivers without end.” To me, it epitomizes the feeling I get everytime I’m on the river, fishing or not. See you on the river, Jim Burns
Night Song of the Los Angeles Basin
pollen dust blows,
Swirl of light strokes rising
knot-tying light paths,
calligraphy of cars
Los Angeles basin and hill slopes
Checkered with street freeways. Floral loops
Of the freeway express and exchange.
Dragons of light in the dark
sweep going both ways
in the night city belly.
The passage of light end to end and rebound ,
— ride drivers all heading somewhere —
etch in their trances to night’s eye mind
calligraphy of cars.
Vole paths. Mouse trails worn in
on meadow grass;
Winding pocket gopher tunnels,
Marmot lookout rocks.
Houses with green-watered gardens
slip under the ghost of the dry chaparral,
shrine to the L.A. River.
The jinja that never was there
Where the river debouches
the place of the moment
of trembling and giving and gathering
so that lizards clap hands there
— just lizards
come pray, saying
“please give us health and long life.”
Slash of calligraphy of freeways and cars
Into the pools of the channelized river
the Goddess in tall rain dress
tossess a handful of meal.
Gold bellies roil
mouth-bubbles, frenzy of feeding
the common ones, the bright-colored rare ones
show up, they tangle and tumble,
godlings ride by in Rolls Royce
wide-eyed in broker’s halls
lifted in hotels
being presented to, platters
of tidbits and wine,
snatch of fame,
churn and roil,
meal gone, the water subsides.
The calligraphy of lights on the night
freeways of Los Angeles
will long be remembered.