A Meeting With The Riverman

Sunset michigan pictured rocks


Went down, to the riverbank, to meet ‘the riverman’, one autumn afternoon,

I had a few questions, of my own, to ask them, this time.

A dead branch, half-submerged, in the water, on one side, of the still waters,

signs hung, high-up, on tree-trunks, above soaked-teddy-bears, precious

memories, of lives, taken, too soon, pain, slowly moving, with time.

Under a cobalt-blue sky, under the eye, of the sun, glistening, on the water’s,

thin surface.

Why did, the river take them, when they were vulnerable, why did it not,

have the compassion, to hand them back, to the bank, when they stopped

swimming and started floating, forever?

Needless, to say, the river, did not answer, but then again, the river,

is not human, imbued, with the capacity, for reason and pure reason

and reasoning and rationality.

Looked up, had to blink twice, a rope, was not, attached, from the neck,

of a stationary man, to the branch, of a tree, it was a line, from a rod,

being cast, by an earnest fisherman, that day, all was still and silent, apart,

from the ducks and drakes, cleaning themselves off, fervently, on a strange

day, ‘in a good way’.

Evening began its vespers and canticles and lit its candles, as it saw fit,

in the lightest breeze, unsuspecting sounds, of drakes, resembled agony,

the water, moving slowly, on the ‘slow day’, the air, coated in cobwebs, static,

the chills, of red autumn leaves, vibrant orchestral colours, only to be seen,

within, a short window, once yearly, to be treasured, by those, who notice

them, as a fleet of birds, flew through the sky, at an exact, right angle,

perfectly together, the more, the seemingly merrier, was odd to see, for some

strange reason, but signalled possibilities, for unity of meaning and purpose.


Poem by Gavin Bourke

Gavin Bourke, grew up, in Dublin. He holds a B.A. in Humanities, from Dublin City University, an M.A. Degree in Modern Drama Studies and a Higher Diploma in Information Studies, from University College Dublin. His work broadly covers, nature, time, memory, addiction, mental health, human relationships, the inner and outer life, creating meaning and purpose, politics and contemporary and historical social issues, in English and to a lesser extent, in the Irish Language. He is published widely internationally. His first collection, Towards Human, will be published, in April 2020, in the UK.