Friday’s passing Fancy/Poem + Photo: River Devotion

(Photo copyright 2020 Cynthia Guenther Richardson)

Some of us live right here,

creatures who cannot be on land alone,

and others of us find our way to

mercurial sheerness swallowing sky,

powers of light that gather and hold,

breath of river infusing our lungs.

I come to cleanse.

I come to loosen tightened bands of humanness.

To hear with hungry ears, see with fearless eyes.

My blood runs rich, cells plump with exuberance

while my soul flees struggle to find again

river strength born along bank to bank,

its beauty carried deep and far

as I follow its waters on lithe feet,

a confirmed devotee of God made visible

Friday’s Quick Pick/Poem: Lake Language

Why a poem about a lake without an accompanying photo?  It seems I have run out of media storage space. I have many new, interesting pictures I wanted to share of a Chinese Autumn Moon Festival and Japanese gardens and more.  I’ve had three blogs for many years; I thought I knew what I was doing… but I am in the midst of trying to figure out what next without paying more money to upgrade to the Business Plan, which I don’t feel I need.  If anyone has advice about deleting photographs (while saving texts) in Media other than trashing a few at a time, please share suggestions. Thank you!

Meanwhile, I offer a poem I have worked on a bit more about a visit to Lake Crescent in Washington during trying times 7 years ago. It still resonates with me. 

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Lake Language

 

Those were damaging times,
when all the words left seemed
too little or self-important,
and since I had too long ridden
that dragon’s tail of grief,
not one syllable could tell me anything good.

So I left for the lake, its imperishable
silences and soundings,
mutations ranging deep to death defying,
sterling surface exhaling blue
while I slept, becoming innocent.

That next day the sun rose like a crown.
What seemed at first rain drops
were branches shushing the world.
Leaves flew across my face
burning with color and
clinging to my shoulders,
impromptu cape that streamed
all the way to paradise.

Every mystery bounded trails
so I wouldn’t lose my way:
tiny saplings, mosses, lichen
clung to aged nurse logs,
black beetles scuttled in shining armor,
bees feasted until nectar emptied.
Streams rumbled ancient warrior ground
and my feet listened.

I might have danced with cedars,
vanished on plumes of mist,
but the lake called, its waves
bestowed with promise and
thrusting toward shore,
stones turning over like happy creatures.
Clouds drank at the edge of
water limned in September gold.
Its glacial heart melted in
the palm of my hand.

 

© 2011 Cynthia Guenther Richardson

 

 

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.