THE RIVER

Nels Hanson

A Greek wrote you never step again in the same river.
He means all things keep changing, flowing like a river.

Mekong, Amazon, Thames – rivers hunger for the sea.
Even slender streams know the way home is the river.

All creeks, mighty torrents, lose their names in the sea.
Launch a boat on the waves and you ride many rivers.

Old as time, the Mississippi is called “The Old Man”.
Thomas Wolfe wrote a book, “Of Time and the River”.

Ages past a bigger Colorado carved the Grand Canyon.
Deep down orange cliffs runs the ancestor of that river.

Let the swift currents take it, corked bottle with a note.
For immortal news trust the messenger who’s a river.

First scientists discovered blue veins are tributaries.
Ocean, heart of the world, calls home the tired rivers.

I grew up on a dry farm, in hot country with little rain.
In bed at night, miles away, I heard the Kings River.

Each evening the river’s icy water spoke one refrain:
“Always leaving and returning, my name is a river.”

 

NELS HANSON's fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 12, and 2014. Poems appeared in Word Riot, Oklahoma Review, Pacific Review and other magazines and received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize and a 2015 Best of the Net nomination.