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About The Poem

This is definitely an autumn poem, maybe a Thanksgiving one, but I get a sense of Europe about it. It is one of my most formal ones, filled with the motions of the river. I get a sense of safety amid the danger of life and the world. We live breakneck lives and yet there is adventure in our survival. I feel very much like a painter here, capturing all the quick, darting motions of water in its currents and counter-currents.

Autumn River

Swirling roundly, river flow,
by cobbled banks
and marshy shores,
racing like the clouds
in a cold gray wind;

Standing windblown in the eddies
at your swollen rim,
reeds and swamp grass lean,
beaten by the spray of
foam boats rolling by;

Running moody, River talk
to fish laid on the banks, and
wild geese darting in the gray;
Under wharves and bridges, 'round
small boats backing as
you roll along;

Gripping frothy waves with
curling fingers ride
dying leaves, drifting
from the marsh stream in a circle
then into your center stream;

Dark waters, run along
with your booty on your heaving back,
squawking as you rumble, but faintly
for the noise you make:

Festive turkeys stolen from the farm,
bucking boxes from the pier, and
trees you've bitten off with
grinding teeth of thunder;

Happy am I, with
my net ashore, and
my dinghy on the wharf, and
my pantry filled for winter feasts:

Godspeed, Autumn River!

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