Thursday, June 01, 2006


“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10a

I see a river, as it dives from the cliff,
feel its spray on my cheeks, my white, aging
chin. I taste the river’s sweetness.
I see a river whose shores hold the answer.

I see the sweat and the blood, as they river
on the back of a dark, black slave.
I hear the beat of a slave mother’s heart,
beneath the hot noonday sun. I hear the beat

of the feet of the Cherokee brave,
running through the dark green forest.
I smell the smoke from the great chieftain’s pipe,
offered in the forest stillness, in peace.


didi said...

this carried me to many places.


Helen Losse said...

Thanks, Didi.

James said...

The repetition of "I see" gives this poem so much rhythm. I can feel the pulse of your images, which is why I don't like the title "Peace." I don't see peace in this. Even with the peace pipe at the end - I feel like the pipe is used as a mode for escape for the speaker.

I have to say - this is one of the stronger poems I've seen in a while at cafe cafe, though I'd be careful about modifiers - "dark green;" "hot noonday."

Also, I'd finish with the image of the pipe.

Good job.

Helen Losse said...

Thank you, James. I will take these comments into consideration as I revise. This poem was written in response to a "Tip of the Day" on another site that advised us to "be still" at some point in the day. BTW, I noticed you live in Springfield. I grew up in Joplin.