Where the River Meets the Sea




At the mouth of the river where fresh water collides with the sea he maneuvers his kayak in silence, the only sound the sluice of water against the paddles: right, left, right, left. He slides his vessel into the slow-moving current at the precocious wild rose that in the spring blooms the color of his wife’s flushed face asleep in the over-warm bed from which he slips on cat’s feet every morning, without fail, before dawn.


the wild rose
a deep pink
punctuation mark
no beginning and no end
where the river meets the sea


In the shallows he slows to watch two fish quietly tread water. Their tails churn the sand: right, left, right, left. He doesn’t know their name though each time he sees them he makes a mental note to find out what they are. But, he never does. The water becomes murky with movement, and he moves on.


two fish tread water
obscured in plain sight
triangle tails
in constant motion
do they mate for life?

His route to the sea is always the same, but the landscape is forever changing. Someone said you never step into the same river twice. He finds that to be true also of the land, the sky. One day the reeds are tall and straight, the next doubled over by the foraging of deer. Some mornings he cannot peer through the white, wet blanket of fog. The next gulls wheel and squall in the cloudless unfiltered sunlight. On another day torrents of rain cascade from his shoulders into the river, and at long last he feels cleansed.


impurities of sin
cleansed by the rain
and the sea
and the salt
burn the tongue

He once collided with sin. The memory of iron and rust forever on his tongue. The isolation, the violence, guilt and debt, fists in his belly: right, left, right, left. It’s in the past, but never, no not ever over. Before dawn he glides his kayak along the surface of the river. He collides with the sea. And on rare mornings when the rain scours his skin, at long last he feels cleansed.


Tanka prose…. just because I felt inspired.


5 thoughts on “Where the River Meets the Sea

  1. As he paddles down that early morning waterway?
    I can hear the music from your “Single Dew Drop”
    posting. Which I revisited, on your video page.

    1. Hmmm, this is a a riddle I wish I could solve. I cannot find or remember what this refers to. With age comes the loss of short term memory. Is that what it is?

      1. I could hear the “Peer Gynt Suite” selection, from your video page.
        There are several tranquil waterways pictured, as the sun rises…

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