The River

From the BBC website.
From the BBC website.

Now those memories come back to haunt me 
they haunt me like a curse 
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true 
Or is it something worse 
that sends me down to the river 
though I know the river is dry 
That sends me down to the river tonight (Bruce Springsteen) 


I said river and I meant river

I walked to the river in my dreams

searched for it when sleeping

when keeping watch

when whistling the night


I whistled the river but found no river – I now know

that whether I conjure it or fear it

it’s never outside

when I struggle, when I scream,

that’s when it comes

the river

in narrow trickles down my back – it glistens…

in the river I’ll be taken

in the river I’ll breathe my last

one untamed gulp




So what can I do – chewed, spat out

So what can I do – gnawed to flotsam


I said river but I meant no river

All I craved was

A lagoon


6 thoughts on “The River”

    1. You’re my guardian angel in music matters, Margot! I’ve always been jealous of people who can sing, play instruments well and compose – makes poetry come even more alive!

      1. No! Poetry unadorned by music is so much more powerful – the words can get lost in the music. Poetry read aloud – to oneself – that’s when the words become magical. As they do when reading aloud ‘when keeping watch/when whistling the night’… :)

    1. Thank you. And surprisingly, it started out as a translation exercise from a language I don’t understand at all. I wrote this and then discovered that the poem was all about a forest rather than a river. Ah, well… it’s the inspiration it awakens in you that counts, right?

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