KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Poem: 209 words [R]

Ballad of the Logos

(or A Fragment of Heraclitus)
by Tim Hawkins

Young Heraclitus stood hip-deep 
in the roiling, raucous mountain-born stream 
rushing seaward across the Ephesian plain. 
As he filled a leather drinking flask 
and mopped his dust and sweat-stained brow 
in the cold, fulfilling promise of water 
he noted the varied course it chose 
on its annual journey out to sea 
from hidden spring across the arid plain. 
In the fading light, as the shadows fell, 
when he knew he should be making camp, 
a lynx crept down from out of the brush 
on silent haunches, watchful as it drank. 
He stood until the lynx had gone 
and the evening birds resumed their song 
from out of the violet western sky, 
while a mad aroma arose on the breeze 
of evening blooming, spring and moon-fed blossoms. 
He stood transfixed, made careful note 
of every feature of this sacred spot 
and vowed to bathe here again the coming spring. 
But he never found his way again 
to refresh his mind and his aching limbs—
a year’s hard rains transformed the river’s path. 
And all the while, in a state of flux 
his heart had chosen its own varied course 
and broke on the shore of a vast blue sea 
called Permanence. 


—Published previously in The Flea: Broadsheet 1 (May 2009) and reprinted in the author’s collection Wanderings at Deadline (Aldrich Press, 2012); appears here with his permission.


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