River Story

From a cleft in sharp rock
in the high country
water emerges from the mountain
to shine on lichen and wet a small stream
where swifts and marmots drink.


Gathering strength and falling,
brown rocks glisten, birds gather,
fish appear in circling eddies,
one stream reaching into another,
merging in deep ravines
to fall out over stone ledges
alive with sunlight and oxygen
into the confluence.


Now river bears the weight,
rolling great stones along the bottom,
feeding fish on their many paths home
with herons tall and brooding along the banks.
Hawks circle above the broad stripe of water,
the grasslands alive with rich bottom.


Joined and joining, slopes easing
until the broad flats of sand and silt
where the original people once lived.
Beside painted rock and towering fir,
between city walls and tall glass spires,
out onto the broad reach
miles from shore to shore


where the bar meets the sea
in one ever-changing wave,
towering against the tide
with stories of mountain,
crow and coyote, steelhead
and salmon given to the ocean
with the joy of salt and sunlight
ravenous for all the river will tell.





13 Responses to “River Story”

  1. Lloyd A. Meeker says:

    Joined and joining. I love that dynamic, and celebrate the confluences I know, sharing the stories of our journeys. Thanks, Don.

  2. A avid description of life doing its thing!!!(smile)

  3. You sound like a fly fisherman! It was never really about “the fish,” eh? Bravo!

  4. David Kyle says:

    Don, The rhythm of the poem, its pace and falling quality into itself and beyond give the words their reality. This is a poem to be sung. I hope you can sing it in some public gathering.

  5. Tom Figel says:

    Well done, Don. I like the “fly fisherman” remark of Teryl Johansson, too.

  6. Rose Meeker says:

    Yes, the cadence of the words carries the spirit of the flow through varied terrain.
    A lovely, strong melody.

  7. thmas mcdermott says:

    Don: Spectacular word imagery of water and stream and river to sea. I felt like i was on a magical journey with you. Beautiful poem for a beautiful day.

  8. Pichay says:

    Thank you, Don. I send my regard from the headwaters near my back yard.

  9. I could hear the song of the mountain stream as it winds its way downstream over and around pebbles and boulders between the lines of your poem. Mountain streams make such mesmerising sounds. I agree, your poetic verses are lyrics for a song. Thank you, Don.

  10. Edward Haimes says:

    True magic. Healing. The river is capable of floating heavy stones bearing the weight of all things. Love this poem. We witness alpha and omega and all things between.

  11. Bill Dare says:

    We are truly all one Brother. Thanks for sharing this cascading gift.

  12. veronica lim says:

    Gorgeous photo to accompany this flowing mountain stream, ever-swelling as it moves to its joyous destination!

  13. Maria Frid Jimenez says:

    This is a stunning depiction of nature’s beautiful flow. Thank you, Don for this gift!

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