The river level

Cold water, a dull wet,
Seizes the bottom of a valley,
A rise in a landscape—
Hogback farm, beads of sand on a dirt road,
Quieting a cricket cry.

River flow stiff, hunches in a storm,
Ruinous, ignorant,
Pours into hollows, crawls down a tree wall,
The roots are drowned.
Trekking stubborn in a weather design.

Black, black the flow,
Black mud with a knobby spine,
Crowbars the stones, the marble lilies;
Twisted sheets of dark like a
Wakened apparition— ghosted into dreams,

The dead, the living fringed in a mundane vision.
Once an Eden, now pinned-legged
To a mudded scape, between the
Waist bone river flow and the dry witness.
Any touch, taste, a pranging to an end.

All the long gone hopes, they get back soon though.
Be it by moving humbly through the
Clay upholstery of earth, or the black mold
Choked closet into the light, the survivors are compelled
By a last tear, the river current smooth for a while.

Its steel body flowing, relic of a flood,
A sanctuary usurping space like a shrew.
This black water has no mercy for anyone,
Why should it, it is the hearse for pollution;
A long coffin filled with hog-colored waste.

It is not a smile. Its clean water has vanished.
Stumps of fish swim in it, in indifference;
Their tongues desperate for a hook.
Are we blind to its expressionless flow?
This is the silence of a dead soul.

Copyright © 10/14/18 lance sheridan®

The river level

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18 comments on “The river level

  1. tanishq says:

    Amazing…. the last line was really powerful. Conveys the message perfectly…

  2. You have an extraordinary imagination, Lance. It imbues all things w/ life.

  3. jussaraluna says:

    Such a wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing.

  4. tara caribou says:

    Wow. This is great, as always.

  5. Mary Mangee says:

    Absolutely magnificent. I find myself deeply entrenched in each word.

  6. MOMENTS says:

    Beautifully written, dark, imaginative, poignant and thought-provoking. As a reader one inevitably (and hopefully!) cares for this polluted black river and its fish, and for the river of life, which is actually many rivers. As Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: “No man (here I am adding: and no woman) steps into the same river twice” referring to constant change in the universe. I wish the next river would be again a place where we could bathe.

  7. ssfrerking says:

    Very haunted. I feel this river is actually time, or this Earth as a whole.

  8. lawrenceez says:

    Astonishing and impressive use of language.

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