alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The River and the Moon

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I walked along the river at noon.
The trunks of tall black trees stood their ground
along the banks, while the river pulled backward.
On I walked up current, toward the river’s past.

I thought of the moon, a world away, invisible.
I walked and thought how different
my life would be without her, how the world
would come loose at its edges. I wanted her,

the way I want my mother’s face, knowing full well
her time is past. We scatter our petals into flowing water,
loving the mystery of disappearance. They say
that tonight she will return, oh so close, larger even, than life.






Listen to a podcast of this poem here.
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68 comments:

Louise Gallagher said...

This is beautiful Ruth -- and poignant.

The moon shone here last night. Almost her full self, she disappeared momentarily behind a cloud, and then returned.

Elisabeth said...

And the moon shines here, too, over Australia. A huge, almost full moon, and I am reminded Easter is nearly here.

This is a beautiful poem, Ruth. Thank you.

erin said...

They all come back to us, don't they, every petal scattered on the river?

I was thinking how unfortunate I was to lose my father when I was so young. I didn't know then I could wait twenty years to see his face again near and swollen. A river took him. I should have known.

I want to see you with your mother. Know the lines of both your faces.

Soon we'll be gone along the river. It seems impossible, doesn't it?

A beautiful and thoughtful poem, Ruth.

xo
erin

The Bug said...

I'm hoping for a clear view tonight so we can see the ginormous presence :)

kanmuri said...

Ruth, I'm having a Poetry night for the earth hour. Would you mind if I read your poem? It's beautiful.

Shaista said...

Full moon... and my sister and brother are awaiting the birth of their first child. I do hope the tides will be gentle with her.
So wonderful that, though times change into modernity, the nature of women and the moon, the pull and draw, remain as real and mythical as ever.
Thank-you so much for thinking of me the morning of the Benlysta article. Perhaps I shall come to America one day for healing treatment. Treatment from the hospital and healing from a soul like you :)

California Girl said...

sniff. i miss my mother.

this moon we're having tonight has captured the imagination of so many. i didn't know a thing about it until yesterday after work when a client started talking about how long it's been since a moon of this size & proximity; again this morning on our tv station (where I work) the host said it's the "largest in 20 yrs". not sure what he meant by that. the blogs are full of this too.

Susan said...

It's impossible not to feel the moon's pull...I felt it last night when I was up a couple of times. It shone so brightly through the windows. I hope it is clear here tonight...maybe I'll stay up until the wee hours. I'm afraid I'll miss it with the rain moving in.

So many petals I have let adrift in the river of life. So sad that I can never get them back.

Thank you for this beautiful poem, my friend.

I love your new header. I was thinking this morning that I need to change mine to something befitting spring. :)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

And she is amazing.

Maureen said...

Gorgeous poem, Ruth.

Terresa said...

Ruth! Your words are reminiscent of Mary Oliver, the nature imagery, the moon.

My favorite part:

"I walked and thought how different
my life would be without her, how the world
would come loose at its edges."

Beautiful.

ds said...

I am still holding your last in my hand, and now this--peaceful, and sad. We scatter our petals every whichway, and can follow them only for a little while...

Again, I am left without words to describe the feeling this leaves in me, what plucks at the heart and pulls at the mind, and floats...

But I know what I'd like to do this afternoon...

Meri said...

Exquisite and timeless.

Jeanie said...

As I read into your poem I thought, "I must remind Ruth that tonight's moon is to be so large." But of course you knew. What a wonderful expression of its beauty and how it touches our soul.

rosaria said...

We're transported, moved beyond today.

deb colarossi said...

I am in awe.

Amy @ Soul Dipper said...

A huge thank you for your unique "eye", Ruth.

Margaret said...

This is a poem that invites further reflection. I paused at a few beautiful parts and let me mind go. But the last line "They say
that tonight she will return, oh so close, larger even, than life." is really poignant. Of course, you are talking about the moon. But I couldn't help but feel that even though loved ones die and "move on" I really feel our hearts, our souls, reach out and touch them at times when we are in most need. It is important to hold those moments close as they can really get one through a tough time.

Ruth said...

Louise, she is here, as much when we can't see her as when we can. We have to strengthen our inner sight. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Elisabeth, I was intrigued by your comment, because I did not associate the date of Easter with the moon. So I googled it and found that it is always on the first Sunday after or on the first full moon, after the Spring (vernal) Equinox in the Northern hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern hemisphere. (answers.com)

Thank you!

Ruth said...

erin, we flow and flee. It's the nature of flow!

I'm sorry you lost your father when you were young. I'm glad you've found him again. I am finding my mom, and seeing how beautiful she was.

What face do we show our children? What will they remember of us?

Thanks, my friend.

JeannetteLS said...

The poem, the comments. A beautiful, sweet, tear-shining way to start a Sunday.

Ruth said...

Dana, ours was clear and fabulous! I hope yours was too.

Ruth said...

Kanmuri, I am honored and very pleased. Yes, of course!

Ruth said...

Shaista, these constants in our lives pull us through the dailies. The moon-woman archetype is becoming more and more meaningful to me.

All the best to your sister and brother and their first child!

So there is no Benlysta there in the UK? Well, I pray that you are on the road to complete and helpful treatment, and healing. Truly, though, I would love nothing more than meeting you and spending hours of conversation, and healing you if i could.

amuse me said...

Beautiful - I photographed the full moon last night. Not quite what I was hoping for, so I just gazed at it for a while. Feels good to slow down and look up.

Ruth said...

California Girl, you know how they say a full moon wreaks havoc on the psyche, I wonder if the closest perigee moons wreak even more? I dunno, but it was beautiful. I hope you got to see it in a clear sky.

This moon is a good time for remembering our mothers. May you find comfort while you miss her. xo

Ruth said...

My Susie, I wonder how much your moon watching while watching "Invictus" felt surreal? :-)

Maybe some of your petals will come back to you. The way crocus come back. I had just posted this new header, before the crocus bloomed (it was hopeful), and then we had that warm day last week, and they are up! You would be proud, as I clipped the stamina and added the "saffron" to soup yesterday! :D

Ruth said...

Pamela, I know you love the moon and feel her pulls and pushes.

Ruth said...

Maureen, I thank you.

Ruth said...

Terresa, them's kind words, my friend. Thank you.

Write on in your beauty.

Ruth said...

ds, your words are beautiful petals. They return to me again and again.

And what would you like to do . . . write, I hope. Or walk by the river?

sonia a. mascaro said...

A very beautiful poem, Ruth!

Love your banner.

Have a pleasant Sunday.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much for that, Meri. Ah, our mothers, and the moon, are indeed exquisite and timeless, aren't they?

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jeanie. I hope you and Rick saw it. It was clear here at moonrise and began to cloud a bit after that, still beautiful.

Ruth said...

Yes, Rosaria. Mothers and moons are perennial reminders of moving beyond. Thank you so much.

Looking for Siddhartha said...

I liked to read your poem. It is very beautiful!

Have a nice day, dear Ruth!

Renée

Ruth said...

Amy, thank you for that.

Ruth said...

Margaret, bless you for your close reading of my poem.

I'm finding that the "facts" of my life are blending with the deeper realities and meaning inside, as time flows on.

Ruth said...

Ahh, JeanetteLS, your whispers bring me joy, and a little melancholy. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Meryl, me too, and same about it not turning out as well as I'd hoped, the photo that is. I agree, to pause and go outside and be there under that light was needful. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sonia, for making my Sunday more pleasant!

Ruth said...

Dear Renée, your visit is kind and welcome. Thank you very much. I wish you a beautiful day.

Linda said...

"we scatter our petals into flowing water, loving the mystery of disappearance." There is so much to read into that thought. You mentioned in the next line that "she will return" ..... like the tides return, and bring the scattered petals back to us..... but always the petals are transformed then.... sometimes difficult to recognize. You can never put the flower back together because it is always a new flower.

I'm reading too much into it Ruth, forgive me, but I am a little moonstruck this morning.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem. =D

Ruth said...

Linda, I love seeing you and your reading much into the poem. In fact, you are not reading too much into it. All that you say is there. It is the best gift if you read much into a poem, which means the material is porous and universal in the right ways. Thank you for your wonderful visit!

cathyswatercolors said...

Hi Ruth, Love the hopeful new header. Are the crocus blooming in at your house? Wonderful. The poem is really touching.
"I walked the current towards the rivers past", I love that! I have never thought about that, now i will hold those words in my heart when i visit rivers.
We live near the Detroit River,last night the moon was so close and big and beautiful.We went to the river to visit it.

Marcie said...

The moon is/was AMAZING!!! And - I love how you've found your mother's face within its glow!

shoreacres said...

I longed for the moon last night, but it wasn't to be. Up and down all night I looked, hoping for a break in the clouds, but it wasn't to be.

Still, my moonless night points to your "mystery of disappearance".
Had the moon been there from rise to set, full and larger than life in the sky, I would have looked, and left.

As it was, I looked throughout the night, my glances like your petals, tossed into flowing water.

Char said...

that is just gorgeous.

what a beautiful write

Barb said...

I fall into your poetry, Ruth - seeing the images you paint with words and feeling the emotions. You have a gift - thank you for sharing it.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Wonderful poem and imagery, and a strong voice! Love it!

Montag said...

She always returns, driving her big, bright, shiny, silver Cadillac car

Ginnie said...

The way you want [your] mother's face. The things you say, dear sister...I have tears in my eyes.

Ruth said...

Cathy, hi! Thanks, I'm glad you like the header and the poem. You know, I put that up there a little early, needing a boost. Then that warm day we had last week brought the crocus up!

How wonderful that you went to the river to see the super moon. I love that. These constants in our lives now are more important than ever.

Ruth said...

Thanks, dear Marcie!

Ruth said...

Linda, beautiful. And how often the moon looks like a petal.

Ruth said...

Oh Char, thanks so much.

Ruth said...

Barb, what a lovely thing to say. I thank you.

Ruth said...

Lynda, welcome and big thanks!

Ruth said...

Montag, what a headlight!

Ruth said...

Boots, let 'em flow, my dear. I love you.

Stratoz said...

"while the river pulled backward" are the words that spoke to me. Not sure why, but that is the next step in the process

Ruth said...

Stratoz, maybe you feel as I do, that much of my energies are against some stream. But hopefully not out of flow.

Evelyn said...

"We scatter our petals into flowing water,
loving the mystery of disappearance. "
amazing.

blueoran said...

The tone here is so conversational with the moon, like talking on the telephone with a parent long after they're gone. it's the "mystery of disappearance" we love, present almost more in absence. And each new fullness of the moon carries in its high tide all the others - moons, loves, mysteries. - Brendan

Ruth said...

Evelyn, well I know we love it and we don't love it too.

Ruth said...

Brendan, oh we humans! The flux of it is infuriating at times. But I keep telling myself, I will likely feel differently tomorrow. One way or another.

It's true, the mother I'm learning to love was one I couldn't see when she lived. (And we know that means it's the one inside me who's growing.)

Vagabonde said...

Lovely – I took a picture of a huge moon while in Nashville, it was so very big.