for dVerse Poetics

where once the river
ran pure to the sea
to the bridal bed, her dowry
for the birthing of continents
joining her waters
in love
with Tangaroa

now, defiled, she carries only
slow death and memories
gifts from men’s greed
and carelessness
her song ignored
her grief salt tears
for tomorrow


(Tangaroa – Maori god of the sea)

42 thoughts on “THE RIVER

  1. this was a lovely tribute the Maori people and their rich mystical culture, I sensed a lot of this when I lived in New Zealand for a while, it always called me to stay longer. i loved your poem as it linked earth to a very feminine nature. and how greed as a result of pollution and development destroys such beauty. very moving piece.

  2. This is a deeply truthful and profound message, one that many original cultures have, and still are warning us about.Sadly those in power appear to have no ears for this message. That aside I think it is crucial that artists, poets, musicians and their ilk continue to spread this message. Thank You for bringing this to the prompt. So important.

  3. Thisi s just beautiful, Maureen, with the river as Tangaroa’s bride. But so sad that she has been defiled by greedy mortal men. Your poem reminded me of my favourite film about New Zealand, Whale Rider. More Maori stories please!

  4. The fate of many rivers, sadly, even the ‘sacred’ ones. We’d be better off just respecting all of nature because it’s nature and not ours to mess with, rather than waiting for bits of it to be sanctified. Lovely poem.

  5. A beautiful poem Maureen and a heartfelt and very poignant message. It so saddens me that with all that we know now, companies and governments continue to take from nature at the rate that they do.

  6. Ah, the river. We are so careless of our environment in our greed. You’ll be pleased to know that a water company here has just been fined a record amount for allowing river pollution. I do think awareness is growing.

  7. Yes, a lovely photo and poem; and sad. Keeping the water clean will challenge future generations increasingly as the human population grows . . . We simply have to be up for it, and big time.

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