Spring. France 2020. River of life I and II. Poetry by Deborah Edwards

Pedalling around the states
allocated 1km square
Folded in a neat forget me not pair
are my signed papers
at hand in case the police
want to stop me
on this spring day
March the 31st

I pass jacque a man I know
a neighbour
we are masked up
all reluctant to share
no more than the veins
on the gravel less path,
all hello’s lost to the mumbling mantra

I’ll catch up on the other side, later..
riding on with half formed words
Iooking up to the world in blue
a sky all broad, open, larger than wide
There is a stillness in the air

I can’t help but notice whose left
to bear witness
to the undeniable sweetness
of near silence
rivers silky reflections
of tall trees monumental
tangled branch blossom
and the giant weeping willows
green chandeliers falling over
crying into the river
sobbing leafy tears
While sitting
amongst the daises and daffodils
arms in arms
Legs entwined clasped huddled
A little gathering of homeless
gravitate roll and fall
in human units
that reminds me
of puppies or bears
This is the last little place on their earth

1st April

I’m circling the river
only its oblong and snakey
In defiance of law
I redraw a creative manipulation
of 1km square
to those without passion

My stateless river welcomes the shags
even once a black browed albatross
Was sighted wandering
along the sweep
off the river Oise
with just a flap of her wings

Slunk to the bank
a broken upturned barge
lays wooden ribbed bare
desert storm grey
a reminder of the wreckage

The muskrats are out in numbers
carrot teeth grazing in peace
where once wild rhubarb flared
they play ticky it with their neighbours
The gendarme of the river,
the ugly swans
patrolling in virgin white
and the sunlight
caught on every blush of new life
is more beautiful
than we dare to imagine

I’m walking fast
the feast of imagery
even in such exceptional times
is heightened by bird song
a fanfare of squawking
and my need to tread away
the hollow punch
in the stomach knot
I carry and know
is part of the fear
that the woman who heads towards me
with her sleeping bag and
almost renaissance red hair
looking wanderingly into my eyes
Is searching for what I
was searching for in hers


Fine Artist. Teaches art and English in prison and the UTC in France. Check out her website.

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