Saturday, May 15, 2010

the river


The Mississippi River laps noisily, sucking debris
back into its current from along the water's edge,
to be deposited 30 yards down river, and with the next
churning passing barge the same debris would be sucked
back in by that hungry, always hungry river.

I skirt the brackish gumbo mud, ducking under
leaning cypress trees as I searched for a fishing hole
that would provide both shade and quieter water.
The Louisiana heat and the smell of that river, of eons
of mud, of live and dead fish, all manner of rot, some
unspeakable, proves somehow intoxicating, alluring.

The cacophony of cicadas and flit of blue damselflies
is interrupted occasionally by the low mournful blare
of a passing tug as their pilots wave happily to me.
I don't know them, they doesn't know me, but they're
also loving the day. Days on the river were to be savored,
along with the slow swell and pull of the wide river
as it ebbs, swirls and sucks its way to the waiting gulf.

As I grow older I am content to sit by the water's edge,
hypnotized, anesthetized by the river's ages-old flow.
My dreams, my life will not go on, but it's comforting
knowing the Mississippi River will continue its drift.



J.P.Christiansen said...

I very seldom
come across a poet
I'm able to identify with,
but you're one!

This 'old man river poem'
'flows' with a poet's heart;
you put the reader right down
on the bank of a water-way's course~~~
to smell and taste the sediments of ages.

The poet might decide to fish and meditate,
but then as well he satisfies
without hook and sinker,
to 'just' be,
in the moment,
and his life passing.

Warren said...

Thanks J.P. - I really appreciate the time you give to reading a poem and then providing an insightful analysis. See you around!