Poetics Tuesday: River of Silver

Today at d’Verse Poetics, Bjorn is our Pubtender. He has given us a variety of petroglyphs, carvings found in caves in Sweden.  There was quite a variety of them.  Their primitive beauty is timeless.  Although I know this is not the story behind this, I chose to write a story of two lovers caught in hard times and longing to sail away to something better.  Come join us at d’Verse to see more of these amazing cave carvings and read the poems written by poets of today about those people of so very long ago.  Here is the link:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/13/dverse-poetics-carved-in-stone/

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River of Silver
Up here in the cold north I
Looked out on the blurred black and white photograph
Of the landscape, in the pouring rain –
Ruts full of water
Bare trees shivering in bitter wind.
Sat on the edge of the bed
And watched you sleeping.
Wanting you to wake up and
Hear me say how much I loved you
And how much I hated it here in this cold land.
Let’s go south babe.
Let’s just take that river of silver south
To the land of sidewalk preachers
And yes ma’am and no ma’am
And where flowers bloom all year
and rushing out of
opening and closing screen doors
of small cafes
the low buzz of cordial conversation and
the perfumed glory of coffee
and fresh hot hushpuppies,
Where we can order a basket of them for cheap
And slather with sunshine butter
And drink with coffee black as coal
And thick as the slow voices
And lightened with sweet condensed milk –
Babe, it’s warm there.
Let’s leave this land of grey cold
Let’s take that river of silver –
Us two – where even in the rain
You can find places of warmth.
Let’s take that river of silver
To the land of gold,
Even if we can’t spend it
We can be together
And be warm.
Let’s take that river of silver.

49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 03:36:03

    Sounds like a great idea, the dreams of being warm probably lingered in the mind of people back then, just like they do today… 🙂


  2. Mary
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 07:48:48

    I do wonder how some of them survived in the north, why they ended there in the first place… I wonder if they had any sense at all that there were areas outside of their immediate environment. Your poem, Toni, makes me wonder if these bronze age people ever yearned for some other place……


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2015 @ 15:03:15

      Bjorn would know better than I, but from what I can remember from university, during the Bronze Age, that part of the world was actually warmer than now and they were quite sophisticated in their lives, comparatively. There was some trade, I believe and beautiful weapons, helmets, hair combs have been uncovered from burial barrows. My field of interest was Indigenous People here, especially the Anasazi. I think that part of Sweden actually at one time grew grapes and had vineyards, if I remember correctly. What came to mind when I saw that carving was the several winters I spent in Philadelphia, one of which was the harshest and snowiest in over 80 years. I know I certainly longed for my warmer home in the South!


  3. Grace
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 12:39:29

    Yes, lets get out of this cold place and go south to the land of gold and river of silver ~ I don’t know how these ancient folks survived the winter harshness & cold landscape ~

    I admire the story Toni and you brought me right there with you ~


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2015 @ 14:56:25

      I think parts of the north were actually warmer than they are now. I just channeled several winters I spent on Long Island and in Philadelphia. I know I certainly wanted to head back to where it was warmer!


  4. MarinaSofia
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 15:11:33

    A seductive siren call there! I like the way the southern voice and dialect comes through when she (yes? I believe it’s a she?) describes the warmer climes.


  5. Glenn Buttkus
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 15:13:30

    In terms of the geology & history, the south of Sweden was populated first as the ice age receded, so in reality, perhaps the exodus went north. Maybe later they were sorry, right? I read your poem as modern parable, keying off the glyph but not grounding it in prehistory. I like the lines /the perfumed glory of coffee/& fresh hushpuppies/.


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2015 @ 15:28:32

      Ha! I believe at one time, that part of Sweden was actually rather warm, at least what I remember from my archaeology and anthropology studies in university. That particular petroglyph brought to mind several winters spent in Philadelphia, one of which was the harshest and snowiest in 80+ years – how I wanted to go back to warmer climes. Although I loved living there, actually.I still have friends there and visit.


  6. Sanaa Rizvi
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 16:58:48

    Such beautiful work…….!! 😀


  7. Hannah Gosselin
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 18:15:59

    I love the sound play in the line that you repeat and the way that it cyclically opens and closes on this note…the place you describe sounds utterly sumptuous. Wonderful writing!


  8. Bodhirose
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 19:58:04

    Toni, I read up a little bit on these people during the Bronze Age, and found, like you, that at some points in time, the climate was warm. I was surprised by that but I do know that climate has been changing since there’s been climate. 🙂 I enjoyed your story of the couple wanting to find a different life. Fun!


  9. 5h2o
    Oct 13, 2015 @ 20:58:30

    Wow. This goes in such an unexpected direction. Love the energy and rhythm. Nicely done.


  10. Sumana Roy
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 01:21:47

    a beautiful dream journey on the river silver to the land of gold and warmth…


  11. justjoyfulness
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 07:17:05

    This so resonates with me. Coming from a warm country to colder winters and where the sea is always cold even in summer. You had me salivating 🙂


  12. kaykuala h
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 08:30:11

    How nice to being together in the land of warmth in the south. Sometimes the yearnings can bring it to reality! Great lines Kanzen!



  13. Polly
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 08:49:07

    ‘…slather with sunshine butter…’ beautiful


  14. georgeplace2013
    Oct 14, 2015 @ 15:45:46

    I don’t like it hot – I don’t like it cold. I guess I’m Goldilocks and like it just right, wherever that is. I can relate to your speaker – I dread the winter and all the darkness and not being able to throw open the windows and doors.


  15. nikibayard
    Oct 16, 2015 @ 20:17:21

    🙂 yes, let’s be warm, oh no, it’s nearly Winter, best light the fire 😉


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