Kenneth Rexroth

(December 22, 1905 – June 6, 1982 / South Bend, Indiana)

Floating - Poem by Kenneth Rexroth

Our canoe idles in the idling current
Of the tree and vine and rush enclosed
Backwater of a torpid midwestern stream;
Revolves slowly, and lodges in the glutted
Waterlilies. We are tired of paddling.
All afternoon we have climbed the weak current,
Up dim meanders, through woods and pastures,
Past muddy fords where the strong smell of cattle
Lay thick across the water; singing the songs
Of perfect, habitual motion; ski songs,

Nightherding songs, songs of the capstan walk,
The levee, and the roll of the voyageurs.
Tired of motion, of the rhythms of motion,
Tired of the sweet play of our interwoven strength,
We lie in each other's arms and let the palps
Of waterlily leaf and petal hold back
All motion in the heat thickened, drowsing air.
Sing to me softly, Westron Wynde, Ah the Syghes,
Mon coeur se recommend à vous, Phoebi Claro;
Sing the wandering erotic melodies
Of men and women gone seven hundred years,
Softly, your mouth close to my cheek.
Let our thighs lie entangled on the cushions,
Let your breasts in their thin cover
Hang pendant against my naked arms and throat;
Let your odorous hair fall across our eyes;
Kiss me with those subtle, melodic lips.
As I undress you, your pupils are black, wet,
Immense, and your skin ivory and humid.
Move softly, move hardly at all, part your thighs,
Take me slowly while our gnawing lips
Fumble against the humming blood in our throats.
Move softly, do not move at all, but hold me,
Deep, still, deep within you, while time slides away,
As the river slides beyond this lily bed,
And the thieving moments fuse and disappear
In our mortal, timeless flesh.


Comments about Floating by Kenneth Rexroth

  • Gold Star - 15,723 Points Kim Barney (1/20/2015 10:03:00 AM)

    Yes, I admit that I am old-fashioned, but seriously, this borders on pornography. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Silver Star - 3,899 Points Pranab K Chakraborty (1/20/2015 7:35:00 AM)

    Deep, still, deep within you, while time slides away,
    As the river slides beyond this lily bed,
    And the thieving moments fuse and disappear
    In our mortal, timeless flesh.......................................Wonderful journey with the gracious words. Beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (1/20/2015 2:15:00 AM)

    human with nature floating and the lines obviously beautifully arrayed nice poem the thieving moments fuse and disappear In our mortal, timeless flesh. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (1/20/2015 2:15:00 AM)

    human with nature floating and the lines obviously beautifully arrayed nice poem the thieving moments fuse and disappear In our mortal, timeless flesh. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Donatien Moisdon (1/23/2014 1:25:00 AM)

    Absolutely wonderful: so true and tender! And such talent to translate this experience into a poem! (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 22, 2011


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