The Athi River in Kenya doesn’t flow all year.
But Masai herdsmen marshal their cattle
for miles to reach the scorched earth
where wave patterns ripple in sand.
Cows stretch parched tongues into saucered
puddles, shower themselves in dust.
Flesh recedes from bone while vultures circle.
In Irish waters the fish of knowledge
battle through brown-speckled rivers
towards their remembered birth-place.
Leap high-rise to hurdle into a stream
that is gone; steel-girdered away.
Leap and leap until their remains
are washed back into the watershed.
The Cuyahoga River in Ohio went on fire.
Oil-sodden water blazed
for days in barbecued humidity.
The Fourth of July fireworks partied
as flames danced towards Lake Erie.
Leisure-boats fled for their lives
while firemen battled to put out the river.