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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The River Speaks


Look at me now...
how did I come to this?
What you call picturesque:
to me, old age. Obesity.

I was the line you did not cross
except with caution.
Red DANGER signs were everywhere,
on even my least racy stretches. Straight

down the line of least resistance
like a saw through timber, I went, meriting
the narrowest of lines when drawn on maps.
I'm thicker now, more broadly beamed.

The lines are curved these days,
are full of bends and slow meanders -
and you'll be loving that,
and how I'm kinder now to trees...

but how I miss youth's rush. Impetuosity!
Though silky surfaced, sliding wide between
green banks and greener greenery
or corduroyed in breeze.

Where pummelled, tumbled, all textiles torn once all together,
water falling between between rocky outcrops,
I was a life-line for a population
short of water without me.

I who never toed a line
before this late existence,
drew the line at sedentary life.
Made my own line of force.

Nothing but a line of sight these days
for lines of artists, anglers, tourists
and the like. Not in my line
to change things any more.

.........................................................

The image was provided as prompt by http://www.magpietales.blogspot.co.uk/

29 comments:

rel said...

Well penned;
To every age a time. Variety in life is the thing.
rel

The Weaver of Grass said...

Are you saying that this river never floods - because surely any flooding would change things, even if only temperarily? Lovely thoughtful poem Dave.

The Elephant's Child said...

A truly magical reflection on the life of a river, and of our own. Thank you.

Daydreamertoo said...

There's so much about rivers isn't there. Love all the descriptions of how humans and rivers are so alike. They do change, as we age and change too. Where once we would dare go in, we then see the hidden dangers that we can't see as adventurous kids.
Lovely write Dave!

Brian Miller said...

i rahter miss youths rush as well...the willingness to just go chase down the en of a river...or trace its way back.....

manicddaily said...

"Corduroyed in breeze" is such a wonderful description. A rumpled corduroy is a pretty crazy great parallel to the water's crinkle.

A lovely poem - funny, thoughtful. Clever to think of even water as growing obese! (I think it may work the other way these days - at least in much of the world, but it's a clever story.) K.

Mary said...

A masterful write today, Dave!

Laurie Kolp said...

I especially like stanzas 4 and 5, but the entire piece is top-notch.

Linda said...

Not many poets who take on rivers would consider it's entire life cycle in human terms. Uniquely creative and wonderfully allusive. My great grandfather worked in calico printing with 'textiles' in Alexandria, Scotland on the Leven River. Thank you for sharing this, Dave. =D

Mama Zen said...

Well done! I love the approach you took to the picture.

Kat Mortensen said...

I love how you took this on—becoming the river yourself. It seems that where the river starts and you begin/end is blurred, for indeed, this is almost a self-portrait, I find.

Tumblewords: said...

A wonderful turn...exquisite wanderings.

Tess Kincaid said...

You get a line...I'll get a pole...excellent write Dave...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Dave, among my favourite poetry collections, there is "The Singing Tree" by Brendan Kennelly ( Abbey Press, Belfast ) in which a wall, a bullet, a scar , a freckle and so on speak in first person, like your river, a great work reminding me of a great tradition.

Other Mary said...

This is a deep one. Oh, sorry, that's sooo bad, you poem deserves much better. Nicely done Dave.

Bee's Blog said...

'I'm thicker now', 'the lines are curved these days' and 'how I'm kinder now to tress' - wonderful lines. Amazing comparisons in this piece. You never fail to impress. I wish I could write as you do!

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Our lives are rivers. Thicker and curved these days is preferable to arid non-existence.

Very nice write.

versebender said...

Great, great job....and so relate-able. Very well done. Vb

Windsmoke. said...

I could just imagine myself meandering along with the river on its journey :-).

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

excellent! love it!

JJRod'z

Kutamun said...

One of my first jobs was driving a bulldozer, pushing ancient mulga forests over in order to feed starving sheep in an outback drought. The memory still makes me shiver when i plant a tree. Thanks mate.

Tigerbrite said...

Excellent piece. Enjoyed it thoroughly, thank you.

Dave King said...

rel
Absolutely so. Thanks.

The Weaver of Grass
Good point. Nope. I'm not saying that, just didn't cover it!

The Elephant's Child
Thanks. Really good to know you thought so.

Daydreamer too
Thank you so much for this. Yes, rivers and trees: my twin passions.

Brian
Exactly, the spirit is willing... etc, etc!

manicddaily
Really good to have this comment. Thank you so much for it. I began the write without a single idea and finished it in about half an hour, so I was pleased with it, just for the fact that it was there on the paper. Never mind the quality, feel the lines (sort of thing!).

Mary
Thanks - a kind remark.

Laurie
I'm glad to have this comment. I had been thinking that perhaps the stanzas you mention belonged to another poem and didn't quite fit in this, so it's good to have had your thoughts on. Much thanks.

Linda
And many thanks for your observations. Interesting to me because my Grandfather's name was Alexander and I've always had a fascination for Alexandria - never been there though!

Mama Zen
Thanks. Good to have your thoughts.

Kat
Wow, this is very kind indeed. (maybe my words to manicddaily will have changed your mind, though. Whatever, many thanks.

Tumblewords
Really good to have this comment. Much appreciated.

Tess
And a lovely response. Good to have. Thanks.

Tommaso
I don't know that one. Must change that pronto. Thanks for saying.

Other Mary
Not so bad: I quite liked it. Much thanks for saying.

Bee's Blog
Lovely response, for which I thank you very much. I've just come from your blog. The poetry stands alongside mine - and most of what is available. I was most impressed.

Jacqui
Yes, I'll go along with that. Absolutely! And thank you.

versebender
Great comment. Like the pun. Thanks.

Windsmoke
Ah, perchance to dream... nothing like it.

JJ Roa
Thank you.

Kutamun
Great memory this. Have you used it yet?

Dave King said...

Tigerbrite
Greatly appreciate your comment. Much thanks.

Jinksy said...

Though silky surfaced, sliding wide between
green banks and greener greenery
or corduroyed in breeze.

Ihis was a most beautiful image! An altogether e3xcellent Mag, Blogpal...

haricot said...

Don't worry. When you were thiner you were in a too hurry and sometimes winding. Now you can wait the time to see the maternal ocean calmly.

Carrie Burtt said...

Through the eyes of a river.....i love it! :-)

Meg said...

This is a poem worth tweaking and working into a submission. I liked it a great deal.

Cad said...

Oh, how I identify with this!