Saturday, August 6, 2011

River Song/After the Ocean

River Song –
to be accompanied by banjo

 The Asif river tumbles
from the hills down to the plain
He gives a home to hawks and trout
The Asif is his name
Gravity and water play
A million-inning game
We called that game the Asif.
The Asif is its name.
The Asif meets the Ithad
down where the cedars grow
The cedars stain her water
and strain the melting snow.

The Ithad’s quite the lady
She curves, she coos, she smiles
She’s a house for bass and heron
As she runs her hundred miles.
The Ithad meets the Asif
In a wood that’s filled with game
With their arms around each other
they give birth to the Anayme

We sing songs about the river and
Its gods and lore and fame
We call it Mighty, swift and Strong
As if It had A name

As if a name could stop it
Or make it toe the line
But the name is just a lie like
You and Yours and Me and Mine.
Old Adam named the animals
And Eve invented Crime
But the one who laughs at all our names
is jolly Brother Time.
And everything’s a river
And everything is his
We love the things that aren’t real
And hate the thing that is.

By Lynn Hoffman, Entry # 21

After the ocean left town

last Saturday morning at a quarter past two
the tide left town and it stayed
we were mostly glad to be rid of its mess-
we cheered, though a few of us prayed

pressed for years by the weight of brine
protected from the vulgar air
everything once too gross to float
is lying open, dry and bare.

where once was heaving water
is now shell and sticky land
shortly to be wind-dried
then wind-buried in the sand

from the curve we used to call the beach
we look to where the water’s flown
at new real estate with ocean view
at retail space we’d die to own

soon the lawyers and the cops
will lay out borders: metes and bounds
we’ll compete with others up the coast
with their own dried up bays and sounds

of course we’ll miss our seafood
and children playing in the waves
and perhaps we’ll never notice
when new land turns into graves

or maybe there’ll be a moment
when the sea takes back the shore
when we cry and wish we’d prayed for less
and not poisoned life for more.

By Lynn Hoffman, Entry # 22