I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')


These poems are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here.

19 July 2014

The Speaker of Rivers

Tribal Recollections 2

The speaker of rivers
sets a bowl by the wide stream.
The fish are swift, and all colours.
The large fish is followed
by all the little fish,
swimming up river
past the tribal village
between the grass and the sand.
The bowl is filled
with something shiny
but we can't see exactly what.

The speaker of rivers
is nowhere to be seen. The bowl
is resting on a little mound
of built-up earth
created by the speaker's loving hands.
But now the speaker has gone away
into nearby wilderness.

We know the speaker has gone
to wilderness and not the village
because the bowl is not
on the village side of the stream.

The stream is deep blue
like the sky in the upper distance.
The lead fish, the big fish
is banded like a rainbow,
or like a woven mat of many stripes
or a blanket, something the women
would have done, while the men
hunted the fish.

"I speak for the stream,"
the speaker says, in a voice
resounding as if disembodied
through the blue air, over the grass.
"I speak for this and all the rivers.
Leave them clean for the sweet fishes."


Card used for inspiration; this is not a Tarot interpretation

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