GETTING INTO HOT WATER

The forest is dense and undisturbed,
the trees high and overshading,
the birdsong harsh and shrill,
the giant cicadas persistent
like throbbing brass.

Paths have been cleared
and wooden bridges laid
over a latticework of hot yellow streams.
These infiltrate the vegetation
and send up clouds of steam.

They lead to waterfalls
where the water runs and jumps and spills
down through a series of pools
and shallow basins.
The water has smoothed and rounded the rock
and fossilized submerged roots.
The heat and minerals
prevent moss growing on the rocks
and they are unslippery underfoot.
Each pool is hot mineral bath and jacuzzi
in the middle of a jungle.
Birdwing butterflies glide through light and shadows
and skim the glittering waters.
There are no mosquitoes here.

.

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