Rising River ~ video poem


Rising River

The crash of calamitous
rainfall creates a beast of a river
that batters its banks.

Scoured by trees with trunks
twisted from their frail grasp,
gouged beyond recognition,

swallowed as waters rise,
the shores silently succumb
to a watery wasteland.

We wonder what will be left
when the waters finally recede,
the banks far from their former place.


This is my response to the prompt from Björn at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, Meet the bar with dissonance, where dissonance may add an unsettling emotion that may be crucial to describing unpleasant topics, perhaps by using harsh consonants, breaking up assonance with various vowels, etc.  I’ve decided to use some harsh sounds and an excess of alliteration, as well as what could be an unsettling topic. I returned home from kayaking to find this prompt and thought, hey… why not?

Where the River Bends ~ ghazal

Five days ago, I wrote two versions of Where the River Bends as a response to MTB: To turn again, about turn again, where we were asked to write a poem using epiphora – repeatedly using the same words to end lines. When a few readers (Merril, Kerfe & Ron.) pointed out how close the first version is to a ghazal I decided to write a third version. I’ve considered internal rhyme within the second line of each stanza of a ghazal to be optional, but this time I have met that requirement. I close here with the original and notes on the ghazal.

How to Paddle Upstream

Where the River Bends

Where the river bends I trail my paddle,
where the river bends yet lends itself to my paddle.

On trees long dead rising from the river,
turtles scatter, water spatters far from my paddle.

Heron on the shore leaps to stately flight
as my kayak nears and it hears my paddle.

I turn for home, thankful for all the gifts
beneath passing oaks, as I stroke my paddle.

A boat passes and a fisherman nods his head.
I ken, as the river bends, and raise my paddle.


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.

~ five or more couplets, the same length, meter not required
~ first couplet rhymes; 1 to 3 words in 2nd lines repeated;
       rhyme – aA bA cA dA eA
~ (optional) internal rhyme in second lines, preceding repeated rhyme
~ possible naming or reference to author in last couplet
~ traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions,
       ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians



Carried in a current
barely perceptible
beneath the ice,
yet beyond the limits
of these banks,
my thoughts flow.

Wider waters await,
as near as the next thought.

This poem is my response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #173,
where the prompt is Flow.

Our recent subfreezing temperatures means local streams will be iced over and that I’ll have to paddle on the Missouri or the Osage River if I want to fulfill my ritual of a monthly kayak venture. Sunny and 56ºF is predicted for next Tuesday, so I’ll plan for a paddle on the Osage, which has a much milder current than the Missouri.

The Missouri River is currently witnessing a rare occurrence. Five miles upstream from Jefferson City, MO, an ice jam has reduced the flow of the river, so that the channel depth (not the overall river depth) at Jefferson City is at or near zero.

Also shared with Open Link #284 – Live Again at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Images (18 February 2021)
The snow-covered Moreau River
The Missouri River at Jefferson City, at half its normal width
with the State Capitol in the background
Chris & Jason with the U.S. Geological Service
preparing to measure the river’s depth

Quench This Thirst

Quench This Thirst

Give me a forest trail
beneath radiant amber leaves
that dance playfully in sunlight,
past stony outcrops that speak
of history embraced in layers of time
that seeps to form rivulets of life
that feed streams great and small.

Take me to the banks of those rivers
where the forest’s roots reach to the water.
Just as their thirst is quenched,
let mine be so, that I may know
the beauty of leaves, of water, and of sky.

This poem is my response to Three little words, the prompt from Sarah at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to use one of the provided sets of three words in a poem. The sets of words are from “What 3 Words,” a project that divides the entire world into 3-meter squares, giving each square a 3-word designation. From the provided list, I have chosen quench.forest.rivers to use in my poem.

Immersion ~ concrete poetry


Today is Day 9 of National/Global Poetry Writing Month,
and the prompt at napowrimo.net is to write a concrete poem,
one in which the lines and words are organized to take
a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem.

Unfortunately, I’m having difficulty formatting the text on the page
in the WordPress editor, but the lower half of the image shows how it appears on my screen.
Click on the image for a larger view in a new tab.

Formatted differently, the poem might appear as below.


More than a tool, in my hands
this paddle is an extension of myself,
the limits of my energy removed,
creating a connection with that which
already is the core of my essence,
in turn allowing me to become as one
with the very nature of all that surrounds me
and affects me so profoundly.


on the river – troiku

on the river
lights float to the horizon
the dead rejoice

on the riveron the river
waves reflect the setting sun
fitting end of day               

lights float to the horizon
shimmering like dancing fish
brilliance at nightfall

the dead rejoice
last light fading into night
weary souls at rest

on the river_aThis troiku is my response to Carpe Diem Weekend-meditation #3 on the river. A troiku is three haiku, with each of the three lines from a suggested haiku as the first line of each haiku in the troiku.
Image: Sunset on the Niagara River
Lower image source: AliExpress.com