Part 34

I turned into a restless river
looking to leap, looking for a cliff
aching for an unseen sea
changing course
changing again
anything but this songless passage
through featureless flats
flowers with their frozen smiles
the humdrum green
the sky motionless in my eyes.
Anything but this.
Anything but soft blue love.

I wanted to argue with the clouds
drink with a cantankerous moon
let the storms cover my naked form
with their alien angst
rise to meet the shaft of lightning
breaking through the glass of night
flow back
flow back to the mouth of the mountain
back to the beginning
and take my chances on the other side.

What should a river desire?
Between birth and certain sea
where should it find its lovers?
What happens to the light
that falls into its arms?
What happens to the dark
that slips into its depths?
What secrets can never
leave its wetness?

From a sandy bank
up in the Garhwal mountains
I watched the Ganga ride a gradient —
whitewater in a feverish race to the plains.
Above the hills, an eagle circled slowly.
How lonely is a river running
through all this thriving abundance?
Mother of the earth.
Daughter of the sky.
Praise. Question. Providence.
Your being, your leaving —
between being and leaving

between us
between skin
between time —
I translate silence into
verbs the river understands.
Fish move in deliberate formation
soundless, efficient
splitting the water
not caring about the million thoughts
drowning around them.

(Garhwal Himalayas – Uttarakhand, India)

24 thoughts on “Part 34

  1. This might be my favourite piece so far. Such wonderful language!

    Also, I dearly love rivers, having grown up alongside one. (I have immersed myself in Mother Ganga too, but have not seen her from high up in the mountains.)


  2. Oh a stunning poem So vivid and beautiful. So many great lines Some of my favourites; “flowers with their frozen smiles” and “I translate silence into verbs the river understands. Your poem was such a joy to read


  3. Monotony brings wild thoughts, borders on delusion.
    BTW, when we were in Acapulco, Mexico, we watched some famous (google this) cliff divers. Their jump was about 100 feet from a secluded spot where they could charge admission for people to view.


  4. Beautiful photos. I love “Mother of the earth, daughter of the sky” so much. How wonderful to have seen the Ganga. Wow. A beautiful poem.


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