To The River: A comment on the ebb and flow within

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I have known rivers:
known what it’s like to stand on the edge of centuries
passing one by,
the many rustic hues of submerged pebbles are more priceless
than any jewel.
The river is a symbol of how far we have come,
There is no wading over it, no swimming, no jumping in
nor can we hope to cross it and still have dry feet;
the river is a slumbering cobra,
it lies across the land in smooth, seductive curves beguiling in
the early black, cool and innocuous—
are you willing to explore a myriad of dangers?
I can’t wait
adding to the torrent coming from the periwinkle sky is December
melting from the eye of Zeus—
the river is my heart pounding ever so ceaselessly,
this year is not what we prepared ourselves for,
the vicious swell before us
makes the boat we have pulled with an old war-horse look like
it will simply be our coffin,
carrying us out to sea rather than to the opposite bank.
I have known rivers:
a slice of mellow harmony amidst aromatic leaves
this moment belongs to me and me alone;
the river is ever flowing,
is there anything remotely as reliable as this water?



Photo credits: Giphy

“I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
Langston Hughes

Posted for Open Link #280 – LIVE Event @ dVerse Poets Pub

36 Replies to “To The River: A comment on the ebb and flow within”

    1. Thank you so much, Bjorn 😀 so glad the poem resonated with you 💄❤️

      Great song! Thank you so much for sharing it 🙂

  1. What a beautiful, majestic poem. It was so awesome to hear you read it live. Reading it and listening to it give such different experiences, but both show the facets of this poem as remarkably profound, smooth, heartfelt, and freeing. How interesting that this poem, whether read or heard, flows like the very river you describe. Such a beautiful piece, it really moved me.

  2. Water goes where nothing else can. Drop by drop it can etch mountains. Rivers are the arteries of the world, carrying ideas along with their currents.

    Beautiful poem in honor of the river and its metaphors.

  3. I enjoyed your reading, but I missed some of the details I’ve caught here. So beautiful. As you know, I walk by the Delaware River nearly every day–so this really resonates with me.

    I loved the repetition of “a river is” –symbol, cobra, “my heart,” . . .

  4. Even when it inevitably flows away from us, it remains uniquely our, eh, Lillian? Great stuff. Thanks for the share! Can’t wait for next Live OLN! Meanwhile, I’ll hear your voice when I read your words (BONUS!!)

  5. So many great descriptions of the river, I especially liked the idea of it as a “slumbering cobra.” There is so much truth in your words here! I enjoyed seeing your face and hearing your voice on the recording today, sorry I missed the live readings! 💕

  6. I so enjoyed your live reading … the poem is beautiful. I do hope your birthday was the best ever. Holiday shopping and our Post Office took up way too much of my day. See you in 2021. Cheers.

  7. If ever there was a beautiful way to express ‘go with the flow’ you have done it here, Sanaa! ‘the many rustic hues of submerged pebbles are more priceless
    than any jewel.’
    – so they are. I really identify with your message here, and I loved your reading!

  8. A beautiful poem, Sanaa, that ebbs and flows like a river. I especially love the thought of standing on the edge of centuries, looking at the ‘many rustic hues of submerged pebbles’.Once again, happy birthday!

  9. My goodness, happy and joyous birthday to you. I missed seeing your lovely face today live, but I did review the video. I enjoyed your line, “adding to the torrent coming from the periwinkle sky in December melting from the eye of Zeus.” This put me in mind of that speech by Anthony Quinn in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA–“I am poor, I keep nothing, for I am a river to my people!”

  10. “Is there anything remotely reliable as this water?”
    I love poems that are questions, change and flow that wears the land out t the ocean, the pull of gravity on us all, and the gentle roar. Nothing so constant of change, a river is not any one thing, but the whole world
    being pulled down together to the sea,
    This is so wonderful dear Saana!

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