Undercurrents of a weeping world
swirl above black waters
beneath the trees, I whisper pleas
I love you

Eddying down to who-knows-where
the eye of a storm’s dead certainty
with death, the singularity 
that takes you

Flowers float the River Styx
The Ferryman emerges from
a three-decades-long mist, insists
I’ve missed you

I light a candle in a cell
leave blooms before the river’s swell
the only truth I have to tell:
I love you

Flowers and candle in stone window

Written for earthweal

For this week’s challenge, Brendan asks us to:

attune to one or more of the world’s changing voices in a poem. Tell us about a memorable storm or fire or other natural calamity you witnessed, as both external and internal event. Or describe the empty space left by an animal lifeform now extinct, like the Chinese river dolphin or ivory-billed woodpecker: how does that absence affect the time’s melodies? What new symphonic textures are found in lengthening seasons and strange new currents? How do the mind’s colors change, how does the heart sing, where do the ghosts gather and how does the instrument sound using a profoundly changing bow? And where is the hope? How would you address these insights for time, as in a note left on a table for one’s children’s or rolled in a tight scroll and squeezed into a bottle to set on the tide.

The sound is grievous but the message is hope: Out of what wood and gut could such a lyre be fashioned?

I could only really think of my mother at this time, who died 32 years ago yesterday, at the age of 32. I suppose for me, hope for the earth, and indeed for all things, lies in the love which makes some measure of grief almost inevitable.

42 thoughts on “Undercurrents

Add yours

  1. Wow – I am both chilled and inspired by your poem. It carried me out of the mundane world of everyday concerns those deeper currents that swirl within our hearts.

  2. This is so poignant, Ingrid. Nature, our world, other worlds. . .sensing those undercurrents.
    There must always be that feeling of “what if?”
    Sending you hugs.

  3. Soft in the music of this but sure too, that hope is borne by grief. Mother’s milk, mother tongue, folk song, earth psalm, it’s the stuff we can’t live without

  4. A beautiful elegy Ingrid. You hold your mother close to you, and the natural world reflects your grief. There is no replacing that loss. Sending best, K.

  5. Love this stanza:

    “Flowers float the River Styx
    The Ferryman emerges from
    a three-decades-long mist, insists
    I’ve missed you.”

    Beautiful poem, Ingrid.

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