Sitting by the river, eh?

For Wordsworth it was daffodils
remembered in the tranquility of distancing time
— years ago, this poet came to loathe that pretty poesy:
for him it somewhat paradoxically represented
the effete transcendance of spoiled poets
who had descended to the nadir of naïvté
who sold the powerful voice of poetry into
enslavement to prettiness and dismissable silliness.
Yet paradoxically (again) he has written
volumes of verses prior to blogging
verses which focus on the
beauty tranquility and majesty
anyone can find just sitting by the river
that runs by the end of this street
where he lives and in the summer
within a few feet of his cottage.

Writing here for an audience (thus far) from
Asia, Australia, Europe and North America
has made the poet aware that
his soft little songs
about lovely evenings and contentment
and peace and nice neighborhoods
and woods and the river and sunshine
would be more than a little out of touch
for many of his readers.

He has come to feel apologetic as if some
apologia provita sua
were necessary as if
he were obligated stop writing about his beloved river
to get street-dirty and
claw it up and shout it out,
because even using the subjunctive mood
in this poem made him feel too genteel
too naïve — guilty of happiness.

So he resolved to write about
issues that bring out the tissues
whenever he could
So with that end in mind
and Blake’s “London”
he thought to take a look at
the slimy underbelly
of Canadian small city life.

Should he write about the Inquiry into “Project Truth”
which is meeting in Cornwall to
consider the truth in allegations that
a ring of priests and professionals in
Cornwall may have been absolved unjustly of
years of child abuse
or that the taumatized victims are going to
be shut out of testifying? Or should he discuss
his own bitter disappointment about the facility in
which the Inquiry is meeting?
It was his pet project, this perfect little theatre
launched with such improvisation, such hope
such community and collegial involvement:
The Weave Shed Arts Centre,
about which national musicians and theatre audiences
have raved but after one shining year and a few sputters
since then has sat dark — a victim of gentrification.
If that is too personal, too embarrassing,
maybe he should attack general issues
sling a verse or two together about our brutal
wife abusers or the homeless mentally ill
or the mentally handicapped
who have been thrown out of their longtime shelters
to save tax dollars
or environmental entropy or smuggling or gambling
or cancer or diabetes or AIDS and all the other diseases
or obesity or prejudged local Mohawks
or Francophones or anglophones
or diasporas or agnostics or religions
or fashionistas or sports fans
or pet owners or smokers or —

Then he looks at the river and he weeps.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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