Lytle Creek

This evening I attended a workshop lead by Mimi Herman. She took us through a guided meditation on the subject of natural bodies of water, then turned us loose with pen and paper. I was also able to make my poem fit with today’s prompt from the Poetic Asides blog:

For today’s prompt, we’re dealing with our third “Two for Tuesday” prompt(s):

  • Write a “what you are” poem, or…
  • Write a “what you are not” poem.

For instance, you may be a teacher, a student, brave, scared, a person, an animal, a plant, and well, wherever this one takes you. Or not, of course.

CreekLytle Creek

There is no word in their language
for what I am.

They call me a creek,
named after some human,
but I was here long before.

My mind forms as rain dropped thoughts,
puddles into streams which flow
as a memory cutting the land
to a river and perhaps beyond.

I can sense the deer at dawn sipping ideas,
crows ruffling my volition,
frogs, a noisy distraction.

I can also feel children playing
on my banks far from their parents,
digging my sand with their hands,
halting my flow with stuttering stones
building bridges from toppled trees,

always wanting to change me,
to fit their whim
but my memory is long
and my future longer.

They too shall pass,

like the scab of ice
in late winter
or the urgency
of the storm,

leaving me to transform
the land in my own time,
unimaginable to mere life
like a flame
and just as easily

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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