River – a Poem from Alan Martin

Illustration by Kitty Parsons



From aquifers and seeping wells
ageless drips accrued like gold
then springing forth, untrammeled, free
a river nascent bubbles bold,
set to run through guiding lands
learning, learning every inch
flowing seawards,
home to source.

In its rollocking youth,
its very exuberance
captures its oxygen
in watery gulps of vital airs.

Then in habitats
of smoother passage,
and silted fertile deeps,
aquatic vegetations thrive,
using every dim photon
to photosynthesise.

Samples yield to inquisition
but the anima is spectral there,
and stagnation follows stilled abstraction,
the verve is gone,
once dead, though, also once alive.

Life is there at zero point
and the sequenced story of a sun,
it is there beyond the technosphere,
and the magic tricks of cunning men,
who have forfeited intelligence
and disbelieving then,
is done
like a giddy gnat
after summer fun.
and his own sweet coursing
dries… like bone.

Carw, January ’22.



Alan Martin is a Pembrokeshire native who has worked in several UK locations as an engineering inspector. He now lives on a smallholding in mid-county with his wife and son.

You may also like...