A Birthday Poem

Today is the day, but as always I plan to have a birthday month, so I spent yesterday walking beside the river Bovey. This is the result.

Rushing Slowly

I contemplate the transience of the River Bovey.

Every molecule of water that flows past my feet

has a destiny, whether it is to evaporate,

to splash onto the shingle that scratches at my soles,

sink into the peaty soil

or connect with the vastness of the sea.

Every leaf, green, frosted or baked dry by the sun

will crumble, flake along the route

or wash up intact on a beach,

ten or ten thousand miles away.

Every little stick tumbles and rolls

between east and west river bank,

to be claimed by a golden retriever

or gathered by a green consumer

to give home a few minutes of warmth.

From its source between Chagford and Shapley commons,

the Bovey glides, swirls and gushes to merge with the Teign

and rush headlong to the sea.

We are as the smallest drops, the most delicate leaves,

chasing through our three score and ten.

Transient beings, swimming, floating,

crashing against the shore of life,

relentlessly struggling to connect

with the vastness of our race.

21 thoughts on “A Birthday Poem

  1. such deep thoughts for your birthday Gilly! yes I agree … we are like water droplets, like autumn leaves, what a gentle teacher your river is … yet some of us have so many pleasures, to meet our friends, to enjoy beauty, to express ourselves, we are so blessed, so wishing many birthday blessings for you dear friend … see you Saturday!

  2. A very, very, very happy birthday, Gilly!!! Your poem is truly lovely — just like you. May you experience far more than three score and ten years here.

  3. Awww, Happy Birthday, my dear Gilly and a Happy Birthmonth too! 🙂
    What a beautiful way to celebrate it! May your wishes be fulfilled!!!! Hugs and xxxxx 🙂

  4. Inspirational words to contemplate as you go through your birthday month. Your very well written words match your peacefully tranquil photos.
    Happy Birthday, Gilly !!!
    Hope your birthday is filled with all of the sparkle every birthday gal should have. ❤ hugs ❤

  5. Reblogged this on Lucid Gypsy and commented:

    Still missing Becky’s squares and not capable of stringing much more than a sentence together this evening, I thought I’d reblog one of my poems. Next to my own River Exe, the Teign is one of my favourite rivers anywhere. This poem is my tribute to it.

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