Waterways 3 – Bruges

Windings of rain-wet stone streets.
A web of black canals,
leapt over by stone bridges.

I am mendicant of purpose.
Willingly lost.

In this city silted up, forgotten
since wooden ships sailed north,
and the painters set down their oils,
And the crusaders brought back the blood from the holy land.

There is nothing impermeable here.
Nothing that does not shift shape,
however slowly.

A house, a grand one, shifts into a church pew.
Candles flicker endlessly in mirrors
that reflect other rooms,
one with a slit,
just large enough for an archer’s bow.

I need not find my way here.
what ever must come to me,
will come to me,
without my seeking it.

Languid, on a boat, in the soft gray rain,
It will come to me.

Gliding past the old hospital,
past the street of the blind donkey,
past the lady church
past the tiny crowns of saints,
and the altars of skulls,
past the tombs of ruling princes.

As the bells in the towers toll,
it does find me,
standing on a bridge
after the day’s wandering.


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