Winding through the broad valley
the Willamette runs north,
the aorta of country life
pulsing through the earth.
The life most know
fuels along the highways,
the roar of cars and fast pace.
Falling from the mountains
the river can be white and rapid
but through the vast farmlands
the run is leisurely and deliberate,
around islands of sand and gravel,
backwaters and shallow channels,
glinting in the summer sun
through fields of hops,
slipping quiet and unnoticed
beneath the many bridges.
We are changed by the river,
closer to our original selves
after days and nights
bathing in the river tongue.
To live in that way
dissolves the mirage
for a few precious moments,
draws us closer to source
in the ancient way.
Leaving no trace,
the shore gently shifts
in the summer winds
and our marks upon the water
dissolve in the river’s path
ever onward to the sea.





10 Responses to “Riverkeepers”

  1. Pichay says:

    Zero footprint is Blessing impact! Thank you Don.

  2. Sylvia McAfee says:

    Don, that is simply beautiful and thank you. Love, Sylvia

  3. Jane says:

    Beautiful. Thank you. j

  4. David Banner says:

    “To live that way dissolves the mirage”….yes! Lovely, Don….

  5. Veronica Lim says:

    Love this, Don!

  6. Eleanor GillMilner says:

    I love it that you are doing this exploration of the natural world and the peace and quiet and beauty is beyond description. Thanks so much for sharing. I think more clearly when I am sitting by the river in front of my house.

  7. Jamail mcKinney says:

    I know the beauty of our Willamette River. I bike the wonderful path a mile from my home crossing the Owasso Bridge Autzen bridge and the Knickerbocker path most afternoons. the quiet serene nature enhances the ride and now many rafts, kayaks, and canoes appear all along this area filled with laughter, a few splashes. That river lets you think and ponder this wonderful life and on Saturday I enter my 80th year, still working daily and biking when possible even in the smoke from the fires. It all means that we know who we are and why we came here.

  8. Lorna Lovell says:

    I too find the waters of the Willamette compelling and calming. After a long hard day just sitting on its banks will quietly soothe me (the wine helps too) so thank you for putting into words how it feels.

  9. Dieter says:

    I’m very pleased to find this site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and I have you bookmarked to see new things in your site.

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