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Kate Copeland Dec 2018
I saw an albatross
and felt just happy
I saw a big vessel
and felt like crying
Woe and joy alternating
just like that
First sun-warmed sand
First boots-and-socks-off beach
First ankle-deep stand in rushing water
First SPF rubbed on my face
First crocus pops up in the yard

Nearby, a young father begins
to teach his toddling young
how to fish.

Last high-country snowshoe
Last low-country woodstove fire
Last hot bourbon toddy
Last dreamy days of Pisces
Last longing for lost love melts away

Early over the mountain
the nearly-but-not-yet worm moon
spies the confluence and I below.

Here at the place where things change,
the wild world fills me
and I devote myself once more.

For one who is in love with the chase
And the glory of all things yet-to-be done,
The true rapture of Nature is in knowing
She is too Big, Wild, and Free to own.
(Like me.)
leila Mar 4
the living worry free
on the love riverside
foot it and play with childish passion..
Jade Bartlett Sep 2018
VI. I, Ophelia

­{The Drowning}

It was her--
Flower Child.
Weeping Woman.
Crazed Ophelia--
who taught me that the
drowning is in the letting go
and not in the doing.

Ophelia did not flee to the riverside
with the intention of
drowning herself, no--
it was merely a promise of bouquets--
daisies, violet, rosemary,  rue--
of wild, velveteen petals nestled softly
against tear-stained cheekbones;
pine needles--
beneath raw feet
(do you recall how The Little Mermaid
danced upon knives
in the name of true love?);
and the train of her nightgown
a focal point for dewy leaves
and frayed bird feathers.

For it was flying she thought of
as she climbed the scarred willow
and cradled herself atop its highest bough,
severed blossoms in hand,
legs dangling precariously over
blustering currents.

when the bough
b r o k e ,
the cradle did   f
                               ­   l
and down came
mad girl
cradle and all.

But you must understand--
the dismemberment of the
willow's flailing limbs
was not her doing;
when the rapids dragged her down
to the belly of the murky river bed,
she merely gave no struggle
as death lapped at her ribs--
she merely submitted,
allowed the snivelling maw of the river
to swallow her whole.

I think it suiting
that I ponder the demise of the
Flower Child
(wilted in her ruin);
Weeping Woman
(tears reunited
with the eye of
the water lily);
Crazed Ophelia
and all she has taught me
of drowning
as I let myself
fall asleep in the bathtub
at three o clock in the morning,
all the while a little drunk
and so very sad.
(You'd might have even thought
I wanted to drown myself. )
{Th­e Resurrection}

Doused in the pallid wash
of blue stage light,
and the clamour
of imaginary tides
growling in my ears,
I metamorphosize into
Hamlet's Ophelia
and all the other Ophelias
who came before me--

Women who were never
capable of quieting
the sea trembling
in their veins;
the barbaric deluge festering
within their souls;
the siren songs
musing to the cavernous twists
of their hearts,
piercing through artery
with stalagmite precision.

These women succumbed,  
not to the water,
but to the burden of their own

None of them survived.

Except for me,
of course.

And, I must admit,
it took my
writing this poem
to finally understand
why that is--
I have managed
to stay alive,
despite dreaming of that
same siren song
that lured my foremothers
to their destructions.

Ophelia could not weather  
the tempest seething over her.

But I different--
I am not alone.

Because I carry with me the spirits
of all the Ophelias
who came before me,
the fragments of their beings
melding together to create
a brilliant gossamer of hope.

And that is why,
we can breathe underwater.

Ophelia Bows,
her performance immortalized
through the remembrance
of a standing ovation.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

(P.S. Use a computer for optimal experience)
Data Apr 2018
               I am standing at the riverside

I watch the snowmelt cascade through the valley,

No fishing in that torrent today; but we will hunt in the woods,
smell the musky dark and green of the place
where forest-dwellers stir from deepest slumber;
their rumbling bellies

 with an ache for lime-green-bud.

Across the water, churned vapours billow,

the roar of tumbling water drowns a blackbirds’ chorus,

On the far side, a lingering brume hangs above the shore;

A chill bristles hair as sun clears mountain-heights:

Paint sky cerulean, there on Eden’s thighs—
Wakened, alive!

                            The river flows …
                                     By-and-by, I dream of ancient friends and foes.

                                           I wonder at her grace; On her hip, a child—

In a world of scarcity few-words suffice:

                                                      ­        I call her ‘wife’ and he is ‘son-of’

And darkness (or terror) are named ‘god’

              I am sitting at the water’s edge.

A lazy sparkle lolls across the widest course,

There are boats on the water now, and men casting nets—

See the dazzling flicker of their catch caught amidst the weave;
Mulatto arms are strong and women smile from shore—
Fleet fingers
, fastening tiny knots, string intricate patterns
into sturdy kits;

                            Ready the fish to carry to fire!

On the breeze, smell them cooking; Be hungry, hungry-Man!

Across the fluid languid flow, beside bent willow

                                     (While falcon soar above)
                                                          ­                    a steady plume,
rises from
hut into heaven
                           (Where the wispy spirits bless us all!)
There, on the far-side, on the earth below,
a misty haze hangs in the littoral obscuring vision,

I pass as a single cloud casting briefest shadow
 on bristling hair,
There, across the water—

 What’s that amidst the shimmered air?
A figure standing lone?
                                         The river knows…
                       ­      (When)
                                                          ­                  I came down to the river

                                                         ­         (How did you know I would?)

                                                       ­               I sit with my legs tucked up

                                                            ­      watching the boats to-and-fro,
                                                     ­                         I came back to the river

                                                         ­              (You knew I would return!)

                                                      ­                I will fish all day, regardless,

                                                    ­ dreaming of something to eat, though

                                                        ­                  my basket remains empty,
                                                          ­           I will snooze in the sunshine

                                                      ­   as my line flinches imperceptibly—

                                                ­                   unaware of interest: This slow

                                                          ­               erosion of slimy flesh until

                                                         ­   the hook is emptied; While spittle

gathers at the corner of my mouth
                              I am Sleeping…
Come evening…
Crouched by the brazier’s glow at hearthside,

A whip-poor-will’s sweetest finale before darkness falls,

The sapid scent of roasting meat by barter’s hard-won haggle:
Fishes for lamb,
                            Our table laden, replete;
              the great feast before snows… 
New-wine flows—a cheerful repast as gathering storms grumble
across a lowering sky,
                                       We sing and tell tales:

How the Ancients, who brought us to the river,

knew well the passing of all things, And we are thankful!

We break bread, we cut rounds of cheese that aged in chilled air,
                                              We wait…

Go down to the river as last-light quickly fades,
See across the water how tenebrous shadows gather…

Is that a single light amidst the creeping gloom?

A singularity, which bristles hair—
The river’s dark-snake ripples

                                                       about to strike;
Return to our company,
For­get that light.
                           ­   The river flows …
­                                                                 ­   And I sleep with them.
                                                          W­e, gathered close, our bellies full,
 who dream of shorter days and empty snares,

                                           A bow raised; An aimless arrow takes flight

                                                        ­    but snags a passing god who falls

                                                         ­     striking earth with angered light
                                                           ­ a single crash that splits the night!
Fire embers crumble and diminish into grey, lightless dust,

A cold wind ***** the last warmth

 into a sky so clear—
Moonlit sparkles on crystal carpets of deepest white,

On frozen earth and water, All sleeping...
                                                     ­                   All waiting...
                                                      ­                                         All praises


 cradles newborns... Sleeping… Dreaming;
Your time will come, Little 

In the village,
                        by the icy river,
                                                    the world is yours:

       (Though no light shines in frosted panes)

Tomorrow, ay, tomorrow!

O Father, who rules the sky, hallowed

be thy name, Thy dominion shored by surety

may be but castles in vacant air and leave no rack behind.

Someone has peeked into my dreams, I rise,

Compelled: The river ever calls,

Wrapped in fine Gabardine

I stand at its edge

watching the far-side,

I hear a distant muffled bawl,
What did it say?
                             “What keeps you?”
          ­                                      (Saṃsāra)
Am I in its thrall?
                              The river knows …
                                                               ­             The river, ever generous.

We honour those spirits

                                                       ­                    and cherish lucid waters,

                                                       ­                      We call you ‘aqua vitae.’

We, joined by ancient cord,

                     (When rope was jute: 

Connecting all things)

                                                 raise this pantheism from dirt and stone

                                                         ­                            astride the isthmus

                                                      ­                        The River flows, below.

And then, I dreamed of Madame Seurat

shaded beneath her parasol,

Such a beautiful day, and her monkey—

He really is quite adorable, Comment chic!
                                                           ­     But don’t lie too close, lazy boy

                                          The vista pixilates and understanding

                         disintegrates into charm-less pastel points…
Not that I was ever sure why you were here,

Madame et Monsieur, and that playful dog

I suspect is a coprophagist, mon dieu!

So much for good taste and high society!

                                                       ­     There’s a well-structured equality

                                                  in dream analysis, Symbolic hierarchies

are towers reaching into Enlightenment:

                                                 ­          Tell me more of what you’ve seen.

She’s watching as he indolently rolls…

(Unnoticed, the rod slips from his grasp)

She’s admiring the ***** torso and that 

a Roman profile, skin as soft as

 wet chamois,
She’s waiting for the instance

when he reveals the nature of his dreaming,

that moment will force a blush
and cause her to turn away…

She holds her breath…
His sangfroid is intoxicating!

                               (There was a catch on the line,
                   but the moment passes and the fish is free)
                                                   ­                     You’re off track, sleepy boy

                                                           ­             Please, try to stay on topic.

“Seriously?”  he says.  “I’m dreaming.

                                              Why do you require clarity 

at this point?”
                                                         ­         Ok.  Just tell me what you see.
He sighs …
I’ve seen it all, Father. Every moment

as fresh as the last; And I always wonder,

How it is that, though I remember everything
up the ***** and around its bends,

anything down the valley is a mystery?
A dream I cannot recall!
Beyond the end of the island, passed

the dozen effigies of Madame Seurat

or the steamboat, or the *****-less fours
I can dream it all:
Around that crook…
The chivalrous old man at his windmill tilts,

Further up the Fisherman prays
                    (If I lay back and watch Him

 through the reeds,
     from this angle,

 it looks as though he’s walking on the water!)
I dream… he’s nailed hard to wood—
                                                           ­        Blood
               attenuated with ascetic wine,
                                                           ­        runs down his sweaty thigh
and pools in shifting sand…

                                                 The river knows…

                                                         ­                        And even further,
                                             That boy who watches himself reflected…
                                          So many hours, Narcissus, (Son of the river)
­                                                                 ­ 


                       (Unnoticed, the bow slips from his grasp)

                                   When hubris calls, all that you inherit dissolves:

                                                    ­    Though you are in and of the water,

                                                        ­     all connection to the ripples fade,

                                                 returning to stillness; You are such stuff,

                                         Son of  Cephissus, and pass, also, into myth.
                                               Did you recognise, gentle somnambulist,

                                                 ­          that memory, ultimately, is fallible:
                                                       ­                          As much an invention
                                                       ­             as this stereoscopic metal box

                                                           ­                         into which you peer
                                                           to ******* its umbra cast within.

But I must sleep, Father, mayhap to dream,

And in that sombre place, weave such a tapestry

that my stories and the legends of my kings

and wisest sage, live (albeit as a fabrication)

in gold and silver thread sewn in sanguinary ground

as a lustrous cover for this wondrous orb:
Hear my glorious tale 

and wonder not what lies below!

                                                 The river knows …
                  ­                Divisionism is a reconstruction of an impression:

                         A deconstruction of light, an empirical demonstration

                                                 ­                         of Magic!

One last thing, Father,

In this final dream, I see a boat

on the water, carried from the far-side

against the flow—it travels in an unbroken line,

There is a lone man on this vessel, Father,

He has named The River: He calls it, Acheron.
How so shall I name him?
You shall name Him, 'Master',

But do not speak. Pay Him, as He is due,

And return with Him to where you may dream of life…
                                                           ­                                       Renewed.

Eyelids flutter, between states…

The sleeping boy waits,

He has listened prudently,

In the last moments of unconsciousness

he drags his canoe to the waters edge

and paddles into the lazy river

to join the other boats on the water…

          (He is the antediluvian being: His dream-state is ‘Arhat’)

Gotama rests on a pontoon of fragrant Lotus bloom

His eyes neither open nor closed, His being shimmers

as the sun-gold settles, His being vibrates with an harmonic

so sweet a flame erupts on the face of the deep,

He is chanting; Quantum rhythms resonate across the valley,

“Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”

              (A single flash, that splits the day from night, erupts)

As the evanescent flame recedes, crackling-bluish-laminar,

by the last shard of light from heaven,
a rock—dark beneath the water—worn

 and rounded, turning, illuminates;
                    And the fishermen know to return…
                                                         ­                            Home.

                (Saṃsāra: By all things known, all things repeating,
                       all things rested; all restarting, all renewed.)

And then, our brother finally wakes
To walk again the ground that shakes
Gotama to his side does call
To remind our son that all men fall
And pride and **** will come undone
Beneath the pivots of a careless sun
The ghosts of Baal who ****** the just
Are less than stone and less than dust
Remind us all, as The River flows,
The Now is all The River knows.


By Data © 2018
I wrote the first draft of this poem in 2012; there are many iterations since then, each equally long. If you got to the end, well done, you!
Zoe Sep 2018
I wait for you, by the riverside. By this two faced shore. I wait for you, never wanting less... never wanting more. I wait for you, I want for you, I crave the thought of you. You have left me here deserted and alone.You have made me something new. I'm empty, I'm cold, I'm deserted, I'm alone. Your pitiful love has only been a one way heavy load.  I've waited for you I've been here for you I've cared for you. But you have abandoned me on this desolate land. Sadly this is true.  If I could change, if I could improve,The last thing I'd do is come crawling back to you. I wait for you.I wait for you. I wait for you. I leave no space in my heart for you.
This is one of my most recent poems, it happens to be my favorite
Sparkyxox Sep 2018
Along the riverside.
Tweeting of birds, joyously they sing.
Rushing of water, crystal clear.
The whistling wind speaks, the waving leaves answer.
The scent of nature. Indescribable.
Up in the sky, the eyes of baby blue.
Snow white clouds above greener lands,
they speak of a language we do not understand.
The riverside is one of my favourite places to imagine. I've never been to one before, but it my head, I can still see, smell and feel the surroundings of the riverside.

— The End —