Where the River Bends

Where the River Bends_1

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet meets my paddle.

On trees, submerged yet breaking water,
turtles scatter when they see my paddle.

Heron standing on the shore leaps to stately flight
with broad wing-strokes when it hears my paddle.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
granted today with each stroke of my paddle.

A fisherman waves as his boat passes
where the river bends, and I raise my paddle.

Where the River Bends_2

This poem is my response to MTB: To turn again, about turn again, the prompt from Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use epiphora (aka epistrophe or antistrophe), which uses end line repeats that are, for the most part, consecutive, although allowances are made for alternates as well as the use of the repeat word with variance. Apologetically, my use may fall under the maxim ‘too often is too heavy.’ Laura also discusses anaphora, where the first word repeats in consecutive lines. I have employed symploce, the combined use of anaphora and epiphora. Apologetically, my use may fall under the maxim ‘too often is too heavy,’ so here is an edit:

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet meets my paddle.

On trees, submerged yet breaking water,
turtles scatter as my kayak drifts on by.

Heron standing on the shore leaps to stately flight
with broad wing-strokes as I round the bend.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
granted today with each stroke of my paddle.

A fisherman waves as his boat passes
where the river bends, and I raise my paddle.

46 thoughts on “Where the River Bends

  1. I like the repetition of paddle as it makes me visualize the repeating motion. I especially like this stanza:
    “I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
    granted today with each stroke of my paddle.”

    Gratitude is so important! ❤🙏❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely, Ken. There’s something about a bend in a river–perhaps it’s the unknown that might be there. I love the mention of the sights you see–the heron and the fisherman–and how you feel grateful for being able to be there.
    The first one is almost ghazal-like–without the rhyme, and the repetition, as Tricia said, does sort of bring to mind the motion of the paddle.
    I think perhaps I prefer the second one, but I could easily read them again and change my mind. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not convinced that version 1 is overdone. I love it ghazall-ish-ness. They’re both fine, man. Sorry to be so brief. Busy night, so I’m skipping the prompt this time around. (Gotta compose a blog brag for a piece to be published tomorrow.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you.
      When I poem really works for me it can be like it’s writing itself, with little conscious effort. Paddling can be like that. I’m always watchful, and when I pause to observe is when I realize how I got to that point.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think they both work. The first finds the rhythm of the rowing and a purposeful outing; the second drifts a bit more, where the rower is just letting the river take him where it will.

    Like

  5. I think you followed the form of ghazal to perfection… amazing I had not thought of that. That said, as you know I’m a fellow paddler. I and my wife just bought a packraft each, which means that we now can combine walking with paddling… I look forward to the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Where the River Bends ~ ghazal | rivrvlogr

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