What the Earth Offers


By Corbin Buff

At that point where the land had bested us
(Its paths too steep, its briars too thick)
We gave up and came down toward water,
That yet-untainted haven of sea and sky and sound.

And what a surrender it was, that coming down:
The glory of the land giving way to water,
Fish quiet and dreaming in its half-lit depths.

I remembered then the story of water,
How it stood formless, dark, and deep,
Until the unmoved mover moved upon it
And so carved with light the earth’s first poem;
A poem of life and leaf and song;
One of darkness, longing, grief.
A small song for every traveler,
A shield for every trial.

A poem of what the earth offers, and nothing more.


Corbin Buff is an undergraduate student at Reed College. A recipient of Big River Poetry Review's Poem of the Month award, his writing has appeared in the aforementioned journal and in the 2014 edition of The Lowdown: A Literary Arts Annual, an anthology edited by Robert M. Zoschke.