River Run

I have seen the Thames and its not much to look at,
dull and brown and sluggish through the mud,
but far beyond the city, in quiet places,
I watched a swan cut a lonely swathe through
the willow-lined water and I guessed
what later a dream confirmed,
that all the waters of this world are one
from every place, filled with the memories
of their people and land they flow
forging cracks in an unforgiving world
so that we might peer in and know,
if only for a moment in a dream,
that there are forces stronger than free will,
that we are bound by the banks of
all this memory and the built-up silt
of so many lives, their most intimate wishes
caught in the willow branches, stroking the water
as if they longed to join the stream again,
and whisper to us what we once forgot: a secret
about sunsets and swans and serenity
and pushing off beyond these western waters –
not unbecoming men that strive with gods –
to wander, to wonder and wander again!

Wonder what it would be like to walk in this dream awake
and not turn away in the face of so much reality
flowing right past the window. So look out,
look in, old friend, come finally to meet
your water self, bound and therefore free
to carve your way through the mud.

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