If I was a river…


This is the poem I almost read at this year’s SAARC Literature Festival in Lucknow, India. In the end I didn’t read it after all but ended up passing it around to others who wanted to read it. It has been a wonderful experience to recieve much praise for my spontaneous flow of emotion in verse. Since then, many have been repeatedly asking me to post it on my site. Finally I’m giving in… Read, enjoy and don’t forget to give me your feedback. 🙂

If I was a river

in the broken sands of time

I’d cut my way to the mountain top

and not flow to the sea.

But that’s just wishful thinking,

For a river i’d be

and must flow

where the plains take me

down, down to the cliff edge

merge me in with the rest

of the droplets impure.

Salt faces of white,

You think I cannot recognize

your cavernous deep

where none penetrates

and past secrets keep.

If I was a river,

I’d embrace all the stones

with softness of purpose

hewing, pinning, grating

sharpness to mould

and never give in.

Shine on in the mud

with decorations of my own,

fashioned patiently, flaunted last

in the beaming sunlight

when misty curtains pull back

with many a tragic sigh.

I’d rear my head

And rush to the fore

To kiss the hem of the rising –

the guardian banks ashore.

If  I was a river,

wild I would be

to see the seasons change

And let things be

joyful, sudden and free

between the sky and the earth.

Limitless, boundless,

leaping, I’d dance

letting leaf veils slip,

struck with glee.

But I am not a river,

and though the stones hit me hard

they stay unmoulded.

Like the river I’m bound

for destinations unfound

between the earth and the sky

a mist I descry

haunting my magical moments

it lets me twist but not away

sways in to lead astray

and I am not a river

to fix a path and go on my way.

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5 thoughts on “If I was a river…”

  1. Paradise will have springs of water, which will gush forth not from the surface but from the resident souls:

    “A spring wherefrom the slaves of Allah drink, making it gush forth abundantly.” Qur’an 76:4

    They will have this spring of water gushing forcefully from them because in the world life they used to:

    “.. feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive, (Saying),”We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.” Qur’an 76:8-9

    So, we can be a spring that will gush into a river. But we have to feed the poor first.

  2. Why If you were a River .On the contrary Every word of this poem is a narration of a River & that too in the specific language and rhythm of a beautiful river …Wah ..

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