The Spirit of the River


She spent her life apart from folk,

And all her dreams were river dreams.

She watched the weed which hid the pike.

She crept through rushes by the streams.


As winter drew the evenings in,

She’d bend the willow, thread the sedge,

And sleep beneath the branches bowed,

As warm as otter, curled as mink.


On mornings, white with frost and snow,

She’d break the ice which formed in rings

Up by the bank where water’s slow,

And find the haunts of torpid trout.


She’s spent her life – and spends it still –

In river dreams, in drifting free.



17 Comments to “The Spirit of the River”

  1. Truly the master of the rhyme. This is a remarkable poem.

  2. And I immediately think of Verbeia….

    • you got it!
      Although weirdly I had an image in my mind of a stretch of the River Aire between Skipton and Silsden when I wrote it. It’s an image I can’t get out of my head even though logically I was thinking of the River Wharfe,

  3. Really like the words ‘sedge’ & ‘torpid’ – the iambic meter gives this a lovely gentle flowing rhythm.

  4. She crept through rushes by the streams. – Lovely, just captures the beauty of it. I wish i was there.

  5. wow.. I loved it.. it somehow says so much in so less..

  6. so poetic and deep…….wonderful!

  7. Torpid trout! Look lively or they will be removed from both the stream and the gene pool.

  8. J. Cosmo: Ha! Yup they will. Trout do this curious, almost magical, thing where they hang there looking totally sluggish and then KApOw!! they move faster than light as soon as you go near. Think they are fabulous creatures.

  9. I am content to think your spirit of the river lives here in the New World, as well. Sue Vincent must be right that “the waters are linked at their heart.”

  10. This is a delightful savoring to read, as it flows so beautifully down the page in perfect metre and rhyme. “And all her dreams were river dreams”…..incredibly beautiful.

  11. Absolutely lovely, flowing like the river. Love that phrase warm as an otter, curled as a mink 🙂

  12. And all her dreams were river dreams… I feel like I got to have a river dream through your wonderful words…

  13. Love love love it!
    I am inspired to be the person in that poem…..Maybe somewhere in British Columbia in a forest of moss…..running feral under the large ferns with mud all over my hands….talking to the trees…..flowing like a river…..
    we all have goals….

  14. This sounds like a place I could spend my life…in river dreams.

    Don’t Lay Me Down

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