poem19 Jun 2017 08:00 am

The River soothes,
the River strangles,
it rushes beneath the moon

At the River’s edge,
the funeral pyre rises above
our sweat stained shirts,
our calloused hands.

We drink,
we sing,
we wait
for the procession to arrive.

I cast a glance.
The River rises,
the River falls.
I know what’s out there:

The River Monster,
beneath the rushing water,
with eyes of onyx,
patient as the coming dawn.

The procession approaches,
mourners cry,
prayers are spoken,
we position the corpse,

feet pointed southward,
The River Monster
gurgles with delight.

Its odor is masked
by the scent of basil,
rose and jasmine,

The chief mourner
sprinkles water,
three times he circles the pyre,
before lowering the torch.

Flames rise,
the corpse roasts and crackles.
Water splashes in the dark,
the River Monster nears.

The pyre warms the night.
We bake and bask,
we drink and sing,

Soon the pyre crumbles,
ash and charcoal
enter the water,

We stand back
as the River Monster
crawls ashore,
swallows the smoke

then disappears
into the River’s depths,
where it will wait,
patient as the coming dawn.


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