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Posts Tagged ‘river’

Release

Something softens when we enter the flow.
—Joi Sharp

Not that I didn’t try to find the shore.
I scraped at the stones, grasping as I passed,
clawing until my fingers bled. Not that I didn’t try
to stall in the eddy where I spiraled down,
down. I tried. I tried. What if, instead, I had
fallen in love with the angry swirl, fallen in
love with the waves’ white froth, fallen in love
with the chill, the roil. It did not last, the chaos. It delivered
me to the warm quiet water that also did not last.
At one point, though, it happened, through no effort
of my own, the small unvoice in me began to whisper,
world I love you, world I love you, world I love
you I said to the rocks, to the shore, to the heron
standing in the center of the stream as I passed.

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Going In

The way the river meets our bodies,
meet me that way. Though I resist,

surround me. Rush to me. Lick me.
Drench me. Insist. Touch me

everywhere at once. Float me.
Don’t care about my name. Always

leaving me, always arriving.
Bring me news of the sky.

Shine me. Glisten me. Shiver me. Hush.
Bring me the moon. Bring hum.

Wet me. Wake me. The years go by.
We are more ourselves and less.

Meet me the way the river meets
our bodies, with infinite tongues,

none of them thirsty, all of them
curious. Surprise me with your

strength, your pull. Say nothing.
Meet me. My hands are stone.

Erode me. Soften me. Release me
in you. You stretch in both directions

as far as I can see.

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Tanka

the river song
fills the evening—an homage
not to flow
but to what
stands in its way

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empty room—
through the windows
river song

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As salt dissolves in ocean, I was swallowed up in you beyond doubt or being sure.
—Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Glisten and wet lick
and thick river scent—
that is everything.

Swords. Shields.
Stories of who did what
to whom and when—

and all those hows, whether
divine or horrendous—
gone.

Even these words
you and me
reduce to vacant syllables

in the face of such
movement, such shine—
I could never explain but

it rushes in so clear
that whatever
we once thought

of as other is here
in the clamor
of snowmelt, here

in the river birch
waiting for green,
here in the shove of tumbling

breath as we realize wave
and lose
all we were sure of,

lose the path
that got us here,
lose even the loss of it.

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nothing holds back
the river forever—
these hands still trying

same cold, same dawn,
same landscape—even that hill
seems tired of standing

*

again I write
in my head the letter, again
I rip it up

*

and then the day came
when I sat in the lupine
instead of climbing

*

morning after
the storm each glittering limb
the most lovely

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