a river of grief

Most every spring the river would flood.

we were used to it, but as Greed 

continued to destroy the Garden, 

the rains came earlier and

earlier, and more and more 

intensely, which concerned us,

yet we learned to live with the new

normal. After all, the old log house

was built on poles sunk deeply into

the earth. worst case scenario, we’d 

sip chardonnay, gaze into the forest

and simply wait for the water to recede. 

in the dark hours of early morning

the crash came with shattering glass

smashing porcelain, and twisting metal.

everything paused at 45 degrees as if the

cabin stopped to bow respectfully to Queen River

like a conquered general surrendering his army.

We momentarily breathed relief 

a deafening crunch as if a malevolent giant

was crumbling up the house like a piece of 

scrap paper – splinters and shards,

missiles and spears, dust and plaster,

a sucking sound, a roar, sliding, sliding,

now swirling into the raging muddy river

wet, cold, freezing, gasping, grasping,

panic, desperation, no breath to scream

on and on, day after day, more panic,

so cold, so alone, so afraid, raging waters

churning, churning, churning, 

scraping rocks too cold to bleed, too afraid to live, 

mind numb, limbs blue, vision blurry

how long? 

(i was swept downstream in the angry river 

for centuries by shape-shifting Achelous, the

progenitor of Sirens, who was whipped into wrath 

by the self-indulgence of evil wizards)

there is no timeline for grief

society’s grid is nonsense.

the raging flooded river carries

each one on a different journey,

a journey that never ends,

that transforms the heart

for good or for ill.

after many years, the river widened.

the current, while strong,

seemed less ferocious, less angry, less

determined to drown me,

the water warmer now,

almost pleasant in spite of still

carrying remnants of broken

homes and lives, and the bodies of 

dreams and hopes and loves

only on a chart can you see where this river

empties into that river which empties into

that gulf, which feeds that ocean, for, in reality

it is all one, from mountain springs fed by melting snow to

streams and brooks, to the mighty breakers that

spray lighthouses, it is all one

we are all one

impossible to determine when it happened exactly,

but one day, still floating, now on my back,

warm sun on my face, rocked gently by the currents of

mother river, i realized that this river of sorrow that

i thought was surely my death, carried me until it 

emptied me ever so gently into 

My True Self

About Dr. Larry Taylor

Radical Anabaptist Jesus Freak Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, husband, father, grandfather

Posted on February 25, 2022, in Poetry, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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