Rainbow springs/secret springs,
July 2000

a morning paddle on the river, clouds of gnats, deep pools and eddies.
white embers of light ring dusky shadows

In the shallows at Rainbow springs, clumps of moss floating on the surface, water grasses oscillating and gyrating in the clear water, a huge bass hovers motionless in a small prismatic clear space. A snapping turtle skitters across my field of vision. Under the shade of the tangled palmetto and palm trees, the color deepens from transparent to turquoise.

Off the main river, the run to the secret spring.
I trail my foot in the water Dogged by mosquitoes, I labor up a channel of light in the shallow run,
the water a soft mantle that shifts into cracked rainbow prisms with each angle of the morning sun

The surface puddles like clear corn syrup. Fish race at angles underneath. minnows like hiccups in the flow.
Underneath, a maelstrom of sticks and bark streaming and tumbling down a silver washboard of sand, the sinuous path to the spring.

a mantilla of water bugs lightly trawls the surface
a musk turtle skitters among the roots.

Suddenly I come to the spring

Siena, deep blue and violet, these shadows circle the spring. In the middle a vision of blue light, even the mosquitoes fall back in awe. On the escarpment of the deep headspring opalescent jigsaw shapes of turquoise point to the boil. Fish slowly cluster around me, or is it that I gradually come to see them suspended motionless in front of me, through the clouds reflected on the surface?

a rock bridge underwater, the opening of a small cave frowns into the light. bits of sticks and bark coalesce into striated whorls of turquoise in the depths.

the clattering of a dragonfly
jagged rocks underwater like giant cracked dinosaur eggs.

I float on the surface. My shadow suspended above, I watch bands of light candy stripe the dark forms on the bottom. Eelgrass is ribbon-striped bellows puffing in the flow, a silent and wordless song. Limestone chips like tiny stars burst from the vent. In the urgent canyon landscape of the spring , rocks, gravel lumps of crystal, and sticks whorl into blue roses on the bottom.

I enter the springs.