Friday’s Passing Fancy/Poem: A Stone River Life

Photo by Cynthia Guenther Richardson

This life keeps turning turning over,
a common stone in a common river that
courses through long arms of earth,
slippery banks that will not hold
more or longer than a flash and scurry.

The river stones have no choice either,
traversing chutes of roaring cold
that take also broken wood,
vestiges of winter bleakness,
a few unfortunate creatures,
detritus along the waterway.

Rock and root, the mossy sponge
seize comfort in a frail fall of light
in one last March morning.
Its bright bloom transforms edges
into something more forgiving,
attracts the elements as skin
does touch, familiar yet startling.

I surrender for the sake of these:
a holiness in lucent depths
and heights that make me smaller,
bring me closer to God even
as forward movement leaves me
gasping, clamoring for the riverbank.
Each requisite cut from climbing and
sliding drains my heat while
river royal decrees a new direction.

Stone and I so quickly spin into
vortex of darkness and primal muck,
sink and settle, make ourselves a home
when invisible to this human mind
some mighty change retrieves what sinks:
a fine stick or leaf, a lost living thing
is brought to the lambent surface
weary, ecstatic, once more gleaming.
Afloat.