Poems by Dov Weinman

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Inle Lake

by Dov Weinman

From Canary Winter 2016-17

Dov lives next to the sea and in the shadow of Mt. Panamao on Biliran Island in the Philippines. Waters from the Badiang River feed the many water falls and terraced rice paddies scattered throughout the rolling hillsides.

with strong leg wrapped around
the boat's paddle,
impossible looking and elegant,
his opposite foot keeps firmly rooted.
the paddle-leg
swirls in silent circles,
guiding the vessel through
the freshwater lake in central Burma
and allows his practiced hands
to work the cumbersome, conical net.
head lowered,
his eyes covered
by the low brim of his bamboo hat,
his Shan-dress
is silhouetted against the falling sun
like a dark and graceful crane.
his small boy peers at me
from the other end of the boat,
and i wonder if the slash and burn silt
washing down from hillsides
will allow him to grow into an Intha culture
that is of the same world as his father.

The Long Tom

by Dov Weinman

From Canary Spring 2017

I help slide the kayaks into murky current,
feeling more than seeing his excitement
at being able to take me out on the water.

I leave for overseas service soon, and we're
mostly quiet as we point toward red-winged
blackbirds dancing out of the reeds and

spiraling marsh wrens. We slowly move by
cattails and around sunken logs, relics of
an older forest. Listening to bird calls, our

paddles smoothly push our crafts and cause
an egret, dressed in white, to abandon its
patient hunt along the bank. A bald eagle,

enthroned on a wind-twisted snag, looks away
from the warm sun that paints our shoulders.
We leave each other to our own thoughts,

mine drift toward the future, knowing that
this place may disappear, its shady, floating
passages and overgrown banks caught by

the slow progress of a growing city. I know to
hold close these moments with him so that I may
flip through them later, like the soft pages of a

favorite novel, to remember my excited father
looking to wings flickering in the sky and
turning to see my reaction with smiling eyes.

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