Dry River

fall-2014-yellow-leaves-and-river

Just down the street a bit, there is a wooden bench right by the river.  I do not come here as often as I should, or as often as I think about coming. Yet, I have come in all the seasons, except winter; it is not so easy to linger in the winter.

Besides the two male mallards arguing and splashing, the river is fairly quiet on this warm day. A woodpecker lets me know he is in the tree above me. I hear a few crickets, and if I listen carefully, I can hear the quiet murmur of the water. The river is barely ruffled by the slightest wind rippling the surface.

Someone wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket rides a bike on the other side of the river, visible because of the bright color flashing among the trees. A man in a canoe paddles his way around the bend, and I hear voices further down the way. A seventy degree day on November first is a welcome gift for the human creature, too.

Vast places on this earth are opened up with swells of water. Today a small rivulet of that expanse seems to be an invitation for reflection.

We look in the water and see reflections of ourselves, others, or perhaps whatever it is we want to see.
What is it You want me to see, God?

All these waters are bordered by land, or else we’d all drown.

These land borders, they remind me of boundaries. Real-life boundaries. Not physical ones, but emotional ones, those lines that you set around you… so you don’t drown.

Draw lines in the sand… circles all around you. 

And in the water, do you see the lines, the dotted lines, because most of us have these unseen cracks, these broken lines? But see, there is a boundary there.

Will the waters be stirred today?

Or is this a stirring of thoughts crashing into each other? And the river rushes and stumbles over stones? What is coming to the surface today, what is churning, yearning, bubbling?  What can I see and what is hidden? Where is this river going, why is the water rushing, why is it still? Where does it end?

Winter is approaching; it will arrive quickly and will outstay its welcome. I see it advancing, like a dotted line, across the continent. Soon, the sky will drop.  We cannot see reflections in its opaque surface.    

 But look… winter has its boundary, too, buried underneath a ground of dirt-flesh, where seeds linger and wait.

  

Dry River

 

Sky breathes white silk
Shields me from sun

Nearby river flows tepidly
Will the ground dry up?
I ask you

Silence
fills the space

The river runs from me,
my questions

New flowers are stuck underground
Bound in weed chains

You must know the dam up ahead
will not hold.  I’ve been told
the pressure is too great.

Stop here before the deluge
and breathe

I trace invisible lines in the air
Onlookers watch

You don’t know these are the
Lines of you
 
I sink under words not spoken
I wait until lines become flesh
 
And I no longer must imagine
What it is like to hear your answer.

 
©Prasanta, April 2016  

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