River: EpilogueOf all the places I could standI chose the river's bed of sand.Submerged beneath the skin of lightInside a blue black diamond nightMy feet could find no steady groundBut something precious still was found.The constant swirling tore awayAnd razed what I had built to stayAs fortress, façade, masqueradeAnd me, myself, and I am made.My arms are strong now with the currentAs I push against recurrentBoulders, jetties, bridges, dams--Changing what I think I canOr finding change myself if not;And more for this change I have fought.With the thundering I can singThe song the river's journey brings.I understand the deeper woeThat makes the water wail so low.Still from that chorus also roseThe higher chords of healing woesReshaping banks which try to holdThe waves that crash and roll and foldWithin myself, against my skin.The waling water takes me inAnd washes me across a shoreForgotten, like I was beforeI was the river.
River: LetheFinally lost past swirling poolsRolls the river as it cools.Wider now near water mouthSpreading toward the vacant southFull of ocean and horizonBut nothing else. Forgetful poisonWaxing from a waning moonWho glints off water dark as gloom.Peacefulpeacefulsoftly falls.Around the ripples dreaming stallsAnd leaves an emptiness, a space--Void to fill. A hidden face.Clouds enshrouding sound and sightUntil the river slips to nightAnd is a waterway no more.A dreamless path, amorphous shore.As ghost-like I wade this languid roadOff my shoulders slides the loadOf remembering my name,Of telling truth, withholding blame.My hands inside the mist are lostEntwined with fingers chilling softOf river slumber. I am whispered,A ripple with the others, withered,Yet even as I fade awayThe river bends another wayAnd leads me round to find againWhat I forgot so I could beginLike a ripple.
River: CocytusLow a sound more deep than hollowEvery river always followsCeaseless same as motion rolling,Like melancholy brass bell tolling,Is the sound of river wailingWhile it's through the canyon trailing.Each and every stone caressingAdds a note one more depressing.Every wading step will leaveA deeper cut, a darker cleaveReminding how the river findsThe darker places as it windsIn an out, and out and inPicking up and bringing in.Leaves that loll in autumn breezeAnd ice that locks in winter freezeMay change the tune but not the songAs with each season, our grief prolonged.Still the river naught evadingEven that which leaves a fadingScar. My own feet in this waterUnderstand the skin deep slaughterLeft by shale in river bedTil all around me streamlets red.Some streams chirp cheery chortled songBut streams alone remain not longAnd like me join a larger voiceEchoing regrets and choiceLike a chasm.
River: AcheronDespite a power manifoldA river cannot catch a holdOn all the earth, and so it windsAnd bends and curves and itself bindsBetween its banks. It has no home.Never stops, must always roamAround whatever cannot yield.White water is all that appealsTo obstructions in the path.The river fights with foamy wrath,Splitting even with itself,Forking gainst a stony shelfAnd branching where it cannot healTo form new channels, so to feelA different land, a different road,Different places, a different loadTo carry through its ripples wideSpreading out from side to sideAnd touching each new muddy shore.Opportunities exploredFor wider flood plains, waterfallsAnd pools deeper, all becauseThe waters fought and changed the courseAround a thing resisting force.I fight against the same obstructions,Set my will and strength against them.To leave, I hope, my own impressionLike a torrent.
River: PhlegethonNothing waiting where the waterComes will never see an alterIn the way it fits insideThe earth and sky and curve and tideOf the water pressing closer.Change is promised in the pressureJust as in the clouds of tempestAnd the fire, master chemist,Who can transform a stone to ashes.Flames leave a world once green with gashesBlack and red, transforming beautyInto something else completelyThat still may hold some lasting sliversOf that thing, but flame deliversFrom the old into a strangeAnd brings about important changeSome unwanted, most uncalled for,But none becoming what was before.Water, like its foe the fire,Casts all upon a different pyre,One that works in slower cadenceBut a rhythm shared in maintenanceOf a theme for rebecomingWhat was, what is, and is forthcoming.I stand burning in the currentSwept past stones and dark deterrent,Molded from a simple stoneInto a shape that stands aloneLike an island
River: StyxA river rolls away the soil,Crumbling earth and rotting boilsOf the world above, below,Revealing what there is to knowAbout the leaves and stones and moldCaught within the rivers hold.It shores away the boulders shoulderWith a voice that booms much louderThan the echos of the stray thingsThat find a falling in the cold streams.Even mountains find an endingIn the rivers twists and bending.Hearts of stone revealed to sunlightAfter lifetimes cased in craggy heights.Nothing from the prying fingersOf a river long can linger.If the shape is slow in takingStill always, always in the making.A steady flood I feel revealingAll the things within me sealingAs I stand within the river.For the cold, I have to shiver,But I know the chill is passingAnd Ill stand, myself still lasting.My river, like that ancient passageCharon ferried past time and past ageLeaves me bare, beyond my youth.Smooth, I shine in simple truthLike a pebble.