16 June 2008


I must confess a hidden defect in my character. "My name is Mac and I'm a poet." (Chorus: "Hi, Mac.") Yes, friends, I have been known to commit, and to occasionally inflict upon others the result of, poesy.

I grew up in northwestern Missouri and southern Illinois, near and along the big rivers--the Missouri and the Mississippi. Their power and majesty have held me in awe for as long as I can recall. Today, the news is full of reports concerning "the worst floods since 1993." Well, I was out there in 1993, and it was awful, so my heart goes out to our Countrymen in the heartland.

I dusted off an old journal and found the following:


I am The River, ageless, mighty.
I was here long before you were born.
I will be here when you are but a dusty memory.

Born was I of long-forgotten glaciers.
My youthful valley still spreads far and wide,
Ignored by Man. But I have not forgotten.

Secure am I in my long patterns,
Indulging Man whose own short span
Lulls him, making him forget my power.

I scoff at mortal man, whose need to control
All of Nature breeds fatal confidence,
Assuming, without basis, that I have surrendered.

And so I lapse into gentle patterns
Which I of ageless eye can see,
But short-lived Man ignores -- or misses.

Comes Winter's blast.
I am sucked dry and frozen solid,
My essence captive, waiting Spring's warm call.

Season of Birth, of light and life,
That gentle Warden, Spring, now comes,
With grace-filled warmth to free me.

The skies darken with nourishment,
Opening wide their taps in gushing torrents,
Replenishing my strength,restoring my surging soul.

Summer finds me placid, languid, lazy,
Host of vernal sport, still constant flowing,
Having spent myself in the lusty rush of Spring.

Then comes Fall, Autumn's end of cycle.
My heavy waters, low but constant,
Bear the leaves that mark the season of decline.

From age to age, I sing my cyclic lullaby,
Ever flowing with steady beat;
Soothing, gaining Man's misplaced confidence.

But ne'er do I forget my youthful strength,
Addictive, cloying, which this great valley carved.
Oft cast I mem'ry's wistful eye to those heady days.

Nor do I leave Man unfairly blinded.
My springly rushes give fair warning
That, always, I am The River.

I am not alone in the great drama.
Homage do I pay and sacrifice offer
To the One who is Master and Creator of all.

When drought He sends, taking and not returning,
My feeder fingers wither and dry
And I surrender dominion over what is mine.

Man, confident but sort-sighted,
In his constant quest to control,
Misreads obeisance as weakness.

Builds he then walls and dikes and levees,
Damming and channeling my waters where he will,
Claiming what is mine for his own.

Ignorant Man, unread, uncomprehending.
Read the rocks and hills that are my valley
To know the breadth and depth of my raw power.

This is mine, carved and etched
By icy floods of long-gone ages.
While I may lend, I do not give!

Stripped I may be in times of drought,
But bounteous Nature is even-handed,
Returning abundance for homage given.

In the cycles, all is even.
My life's blood comes in welcome flows;
With youthful zest, I reclaim all that is mine.

Reaching for those limits which I have set,
With casual nod, I push my way
to take anew and gain my rightful place.

Springtime melt and summer rain,
Gifts to me from the great broad sky
Are mine--my cup does o'erflow.

Behold, O Man, The River!
Read and comprehend your own small power
In the Great Creator's grand scheme.

In my rapids and flows, I speak.
With eyes and ears and being, listen,
My message for to know:

I am The River, ageless, mighty!
I was here long before you were born.
I will be here when you are but a dusty memory.

1 comment:

Dave Moody said...

You are a multifaceted kind of guy MAC. I am impressed!