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As Rivers That Flow To The Sea


How much one carries
and buries inside:

light and dark
and kindness and love

the lust and the rust
and the rut of the sun and the rain,

and words like lightening and nothing but
swords, everything –

moments and memories and nothing
but a star’s sparkle and dust:

waters to wade
and peregrine shadows that are cast
by careless birds in the ritual of flight –

little things that flutter and scatter
and twitch, butterflies
awaken by the touch of another.

So remind me again:
does pain ever fade?

Is there time for the wing
and the flutter, the stutter
of the sun splitting the air
into white and a hundred striations of grey?

Do your ghosts roam in the darkness of night?
And do doves pray at first light?
Is every day a rebirth
for better or for worse?
Or is there always thunder
to wound the earth
and curse man’s works?

And was it ever bright and gay
the instant dressed
as dispensing goddess
and Nature unbound?

Were we ever brothers
or were there always others?

Remind me please so that I may know:
Are our memories ever sound?

Are they written in stone, or do they grow
from the hallowed and fertile ground?

Will paradise ever be found?

And just as rivers that flow to the sea,
so Nature and Mother shall once again be?

© Nina Light CC-BY-NC-ND


The image that served as inspiration to this little poem came to me via another blog, but I believe it to be from Paul Merton’s Travels in India BBC series.

In any case, it was too beautiful and central to the poem to omit it on the grounds of uncertain attribution, so if anyone knows its real provenance, please let me know so that I can add it here.

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