Poetics: The River

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Hi everyone, today it’s the world poetry day and I am pleased to introduce our guest host for today, Paul Dear.

Good evening poets. Tonight I will be guest hosting here at the pub and offering up the theme of ‘The River’. Rivers can signify many things: a place of meeting for both animals and humans, a metaphor for journey or perhaps a mythological place such as ‘The River Styx’. Of course ‘The River’ can be used in many forms as adjective or verb.

Photos by Paul Dear Photography

Here are a couple of my favorite River themed poems for your inspiration.

The River of Bees.
William Stanley Merwin.

In a dream I returned to the river of bees
Five orange trees by the bridge and
Beside two mills my house
Into whose courtyard a blind man followed
The goats and stood singing
Of what was older

Soon it will be fifteen years

He was old he will have fallen into his eyes

I took my eyes
A long way to the calenders
Room after room asking how shall I live

One of the ends is made of streets
One man processions carry through it
Empty bottles their
Images of hope
It was offered to me by name

Once once and once
In the same city I was born
Asking what shall I say

He will have fallen into his mouth
Men think they are better than grass

I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay

He was old he is not real nothing is real
Nor the noise of death drawing water

We are the echo of the future

On the door it says what to do to survive
But we were not born to survive
Only to live

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Ask Me” by William Stafford

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.

I look forward to reading your River poems!

If you are new at D’verse, here’s how to play:

  • Write a poem inspired by ‘The River’ and post it to your blog
  • Click on “Mr. Linky” below and enter your name and direct link to your poem
  • Drop in the pub to say hello
  • Read and comment on other people’s work
  • Share via your favorite social media platforms.
  • Have fun !

About the guest host: I’m Paul John Dear, the scribbler. I live in South Lanarkshire, Scotland. I am a husband and father of 3 grown ups. In my work I am a rhythmical alchemist, helping to create and support community through rhythm. Rhythm for me is all about patterns, connection and self discovery. Writing it seems is no different and so I scribble too.