Jean Hollander

Feathering Wheels

Steam driven, the old river boat

pounds up the night-lit stream,

each turn of its feathering wheel

a cataract of splintered moons.

There is a kind of cormorant

called cataract, plummets

falls straight on his prey

in a glory of blood.

A flash at the edge of the cornea—

firewheel of northern lights,

is the opening to a cataract—

a rush of vitreous humor

down the rockfall eye,

like waters falling down steep

cataracts dash into fringed

streamers of feather-wheeled light.