Will the river run forever?

I have been working on some new poems that will form part of the fast approaching ‘Where the Streams Come From’ exhibition, which opens at Tighnabruach Gallery at the end of March.

Those of you who write poetry may agree with me that poems are never really ‘finished’. It is hard to let them go. Even years later, I will read something that I have written and wince, wanting to change it. Eventually all you can do is to set it aside and write something else. This is all the more true when a poem does not come easily, almost as if the flow of water has been blocked upstream and we poke at the flow with a stick in an attempt to unblock it.

So here is some work-in-progress. Still not quite flowing as freely as this;



Will the river run forever?


Will the river run forever?

Will it keep on tumbling down this cliff?

Will it keep on sparkling with the splash of light and life?

Will it dance to the scale of fin and fish,

Or will the music it makes

Fall silent?


Will the river run forever?

Will it carry the boat that carries me?

Will the flow go past these fields I know

And twist and turn to new places?

Or am I just a fool, floundering

In a stagnant pool?


Will the river run forever?

Will it keep carving these old rocks?

Will it keep on carrying them as suspended sediment,

Spew them through the open-mouth of an estuary

Fan them across the ocean floor,

Or will it fail?


Will the river run forever?

Will it irrigate? Will it recreate the flow

Of life in me? Will it roll through this world like laughter?

Will it quench the thirst of a thousand tongues,

Or will it dry, like the salt tears of a woman

Done now with weeping?










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