The River

The river rolls and whispers to me
of gentle whorls and rhythms free
this joyous ride,  journey d’espirit 
to find the sea,  to find the sea.

But underneath this joie de vivre
is tumbled sand and grinding scree,
a world of strict conformity.
No pebble’s free.  No pebble’s free.

Sharp edges worn over the years,
beveled and fretted, flow of tears -
water pushes, everything adheres
Mass domineers.  Mass domineers.

So big things hold their own in there
resilient boulders or logs in snares.
Tiny leaves stripped skeleton bare.
It’s just not fair.  It’s just not fair.

We little things on life’s great course
get washed along in current’s force.
We try to cling, or seek remorse
from this wild horse, from this wild horse.

We are the pebbles smoothed and worn,
we are the leaves, eaten and torn.
Those rocks, embedded, gaze with scorn.
With privilege born.  With privilege born.

Written for Grace from dVerse’s prompt asking that we write a Monotetra. For more information on this form please follow the link.

73 thoughts on “The River

  1. You communicate this predicament solemnly and accurately. It’s sad how the little guys drown, while big business just becomes too large for its own good.

    Idk, it just makes me pissed off when we live in a world that is shoveling billionaires into space instead of putting that money into other, more important causes (just my opinion, of course). :/ I feel like that itself is a product of our society. Just like anything, you take the good with the bad but it’s still hard to remain optimistic.

    This piece epitomizes how the mass takes over, and other people suffer from it. Beautifully, beautifully written, Worms. I am once again amazed at not only the profundity of your words, but as well the puissance they possess. That is quite masterful. ❤ ❤ You're very talented.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Lucy. Such a full and personal response. Even our hens are cackling in appreciation of the wise eggs of your words! I agree with absolutely everything you say about society and billionaires playing with space toys. And I thank you for your kindness. ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This flows with ease just like the river finding the sea. Speically love this part (part of life’s journey)

    We are the pebbles smoothed and worn,
    we are the leaves, eaten and torn.

    Thanks for joining in.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. love the opening stanza; the poem reads like a song and it probably could be set to music,; less enamoured of the strident title and that last stanza; politics is fine but the rest of the poem is clothed in metaphor: spelling it out seems awkward, as though the reader cannot be trusted to get the message : Ziggy Ramo’s ‘From Little Things’ is vibrantly political and it really works—

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I think you might be right. My chief resistance is in two ares. One, I don’t like ending with the “wild horse” line. It’s not my favourite and it’s not a strong ending. And 2 I quite like (as Grace agreed) the middle two lines of the last stanza so I am having trouble killing those two darlings. So those are what I am figuring out.


      2. the third last line is too heavy handed; I don’t like to be told ‘arrogant scorn’: I want to be shown it; I don’t want the abstract term ‘big business’: I want to be shown it: ‘smirks’ is good, ‘big business’ not: the gold standard for me is Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Bulls On Parade’: a blistering attack on capitalism and big business but those terms are NOT used; instead we are given examples, vicious vignettes —

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I love the second verse and the refrain and I love the “five sided fistagon”. Thanks again for your thoughts. I feel like you have made a strong case. I will figure out a rework that I am happy with.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow!! How dare NRMA just use the refrain on their ads. I suppose Ziggy Ramo gave his permission. But it’s such an amazing song and it sure has more to it than the sweet refrain with the bloody heart hands. And the bit about the document from the pope!! 😡😡. Religion has so much to answer for. I thought it was British arrogance. But it was Catholic as well!!! Grrr!! It makes me so angry. Lol. Thanks for sharing. Sorry for ranting.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. it’s okay, Worms: ranting clears away the cobwebs 🙂 I didn’t know about the NRMA usage but the owner of the song, the writer and original singer, Paul Kelly, would likely have given his permission —

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my poem does not disagree with this. I think I am younger than you. And I came to politics quite late in my life. So this is just an expression of my frustrations, especially in the light of the despicable way definitely Australian media, but probably western media more broadly, typecasts China and Russia as evil for their inhumanity and their non democratic government. The Australian government track record on humanity to refugees and the aboriginal people is sickening. And our “democracy” is a heap of barely concealed lies sewn up nicely in a bag of Murdoch press. So sure, capitalism’s evils might be old to you but they hit me in the face in a regular way right now.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re absolutely right. I guess I’m saying that they have leaned to play the game. It is OK to have people sleeping rough, just so long as you give everyone else The X-Factor on a Saturday night.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Big business rules this country. I am convinced our PMs are simply puppets. Even the supposedly “left” labor party is completely in their thrall. I listened to a podcast – an interview with a journalist. This relates to the comments exchanged about Biden too. He was hopeful that the pandemic has shown the need for the pendulum to swing back from the small gov’t (small enough to drown in a bathtub) leaning because it doesn’t work in a crisis like this. Scott Morrison doubled the dole!! Albeit briefly. I can’t argue with your opinion. Only tell you where I got mine. I want hope. I need hope. And this podcast was the first thing in years that gave me any.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This reads like a protest song (I wholeheartedly agree with it too) and as such, I’m not sure I agree with the comment that you have to be so subtle you don’t mention the villains of the piece. You keep the rhythm well, and that’s important too.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The form of the poem isn’t ‘subtle’. It’s a pretty obvious, uncompromising rhythm and lends itself to camp (or a song). I’d go for the in your face approach and keep the subtle indictments for another form.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The first two lines are perfect. For the thirds line, if it was my poem I’d probably not use the expression ‘big business’. It was the name of the bull in Cold Comfort Farm, and I use ‘smirk’ with prudence as it has a very specific meaning. I’d end up with something like:
        The ivory-towered watch with scorn.
        Allusive but obvious and unflattering. There’s no right or wrong way though.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hobbo. Not sure what you mean by “it’s all been said”. Do you mean it doesn’t need saying again? Or do you mean it’s all said and done and not worth reworking? Or are you not referring to John’s comments at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope, sorry, I should have explained. I meant that I agree with all the lovely positive comments about this beautiful poem, so no point in my trying to add superlatives. 👍😊🧡

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I like your repetition of “no pebble’s free.” I see each of the 10,000 things (all-that-is) as integrally connected with each other. There is no escape from the way of things.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I see you’ve reworked this. I really liked the first version as a protest song, and didn’t think it was any less subtle than Paul Kelly’s “from little things…” Actually it was more subtle, “from little things…” is a very blunt instrument and one of my least favourite Paul Kelly songs.
    But this is really great too, in a different way. If I hadn’t read the previous version I would not think this was about capitalism etc. It’s a wonderful poem about life, and all the things that can sweep us away, all the rocks. On balance I like this version better because it speaks to the human condition without excluding people who don’t share the same political views. (I suspect we do, but that’s not the point.)

    Liked by 2 people

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