BURNING RIVER - Arthur Guiterman Poems


Poems » arthur guiterman » burning river


I will tell my son over and over again,
"Do not let the rivers burn."
Mountains must stand
until winds and rains come,
and they -- and only they --
will cause them to sink
back into the center
of that universal river
which is their's
and their children's,
Magpie, Bear, and Coyote too.

I will tell him over and over
and over again.

We wait at the crossing.

The train shudders
with some evil disease.
The disease kills
even as it dies.
And the disease will be
at its furious work
until its frantic energy
will become its burning death.

And then the weakened spirit
will turn to the center
and become the cooled wind
and become the cooled rain
and wash the last vestige
of waste from our bones,
from our charred ligaments
and wash them back

to the River,
the River,
the River,
four times the River.