Tuesday, 11 December 2012

River of Life

Sightless against the sun,
Silver bellied fish lie,
Their once quick scales
Dark and drying.
Their black-humped backs
And flattened fins, 
Fast held mid reeds
And swirling foam,
Foretell our end.
Below the weir,
Where a year ago
So many salmon leapt
The old mill-race
No trace of life abides.
The tides of failure fill the air,
The careless stench of death
Stills my laboured breath,
And stings my eyes
With fruitless tears.

As darkness nears
May I perhaps yet dream,
Of some pure and crystal stream,
To wash away the guilt?

© James Rainsford 2012

Note to readers: posted as my contribution to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.
Your views are welcome, please click on the tab below if you wish to comment. I'll respond to all who visit and comment here. Kind regards to all at dVerse.


  1. Sure works on many levels, sad so much gets washed away and polluted when it shouldn't.

  2. The tides of failure fill the air...ah's a shame what we're doing with this earth....and yep, the question is, who will lie there next and gasp for breath...

  3. Oh, it's just awful what we do to our planet....I so wish we could look after it better...poignant and moving, James...

  4. loved the hope in the ending... nice read

  5. your face with the sad...and yet we do it every day and dont think about the lives we are butchering...tight piece man

  6. Nicely expressed< James...the circle of life, I guess.

  7. Yes, we humans certainly have a habit of making a mess of things. Powerfully written, James.

  8. GAWD!!! James...this tears at my insides...foolish me married a fisherman...never dreaming I'd be whisked away and expected to be impressed by his show of "prowess" over lesser creatures (sarcasm strong here) My tears confused the poor thing and he still doesn't get it...but at least I am not expected to tag along. Our salmon are dying! There are strict restrictions in place, but we know how well they are followed. Oh I writing my history or a've touched this reader...once again!

  9. Its so sad to see the river dying and full of fruitless tears ~

  10. Yes, may you dream.... Wonderful write!

  11. love the imagery. powerful write.

  12. Sad, how I too wish to dream of returning pure streams

  13. very powerful and you held me tight in your beautiful verse..i feel extremely sad for this incident..all my prayers to the victims families.


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