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At the Water’s Edge

April 20, 2013

This poems tells us of one woman’s journey over two years. .. it is a celebration and acceptance of the cyclical nature of existence..




She stands alone at the water’s edge,

Sturdy reeds poke through her white linen dress.

She watches the horizon for her lovers return,

She looks on and on, her hope fading with the sun.

“Tomorrow I will not come to the water’s edge”, she says

“Tomorrow I will keep my eyes to the ground”.

Tomorrow she will see how new life grows,

Tonight she draws in a lung full of air

And picks up the sweet smell of decay

Not her lover’s but her own.

She stands at the water’s edge,

Basking in the delicate spring sun,

The sturdy green reeds poke her fingers,

She plays their spiked tips like piano keys.

“Tomorrow I will do the laundry” she says

“Tomorrow I will make a chain of peppers to hang in the sun”

Tomorrow she will work until dusk,

To make sure all is done.

For her tiresome winter’s work, a leisurely day is just.

Only rest and play are important today.

She unties and steps out of her mid length linen dress,

Then hides it in the long lush grass,

She wades, thigh-deep into the cool river,

River bed mud oozes up between her toes.

“Tomorrow I will swim across the river and bathe in the meadow” she says,

“Tomorrow I will sit and pluck daisies with my toes”

Tomorrow she bathes on the other side,

She finds a nice spot of grass which she flattens with her weight and shape

When she swims she creates ripples in the cool river water

Later tonight she will discover how the river sees the moon

She stands at the water’s edge,

The river bank is stiff and rustly with leaves

She dips a pointed finger into the water

Her body jolts as the river deals her an icy bite

“Tomorrow I will swipe the crispy leaves from my door” she says

“Tomorrow I will unstring my peppers to store in a glass jar”

Tomorrow she counts and packs the wizened peppers

But today she feels sleepy.

Feeling fuzzy and warm she watches how the leaves are sucked up by the breeze

They dance and spiral above her head; golden, burnt orange and red

She stands at the water’s edge

Noticing how, the frost, a winter craftsman,

Came in the night and painted the naked branches,

She loves how they glitter and sparkle in the daylight.

“Tommorrow I will make beeswax candles” she says

“Tommorrow I will read into the long night”

Tommorrow she makes and stacks her candles

Later that night she takes such pleasure in reading by candle light

She smiles as she watches the candle light flicker on the wall

Before she pauses to turn each page.

She stands at the water’s edge

The Primroses are in bloom

And they cheer up the river bed with their delicate charm

A pang of grief passes through her as she remembers someone dear

“Tommorrow I will work the earth” she says

“Tommorrow I will plant seeds”

Tommorrow she rakes, she plants and she waters

At the end of a hard days work,

She eats and then she sleeps.

And she dreams of a woman wearing a necklace of stringed peas.

She stands at the water’s edge

The sun beating down on her shoulders

Beckoning her freckles to cut loose and add spice

To her alabaster skin.

“Tommorrow I will strip and swim in the sun” she says

“Tommorrow I will float on my back and surrender”

Tommorrow she will feel beautiful as the water engulfs her

And she moves so silently within it

But she sings as she swims and swims as she sings

Later that night she sleeps soundly and deeply.

She dances through the crunchy leaves

Until she stands at the water’s edge

Her belly full of porridge and berries

She wonders why autumn is her much loved season?

“Tommorrow I will know why I love autumn so” she says

“Tommorrow it will be clear to me”

Tommorrow she takes a pen and she writes..

Autumn moons and autumn skies

Autumn colours are drawn on my soul

They dance and spiral above my head, golden, burnt orange and red.


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