Poetry Friday: How to Float Down a River

What a week. I don’t know about you, but after the onslaught of news (mostly bad) the past few weeks, I have been looking for some places of solace. I have found some in poetry, of course, as I shared in last week’s post.

I’ve also found inspiration in reading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. These two men have faced more than their share of injustice, heartbreak and pan, and yet they still live with joy. This book records their conversations on the subject of joy as they spent a week together on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s birthday. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Finally, I spend Sunday afternoon on the river. Friends asked us to join them with their tubes and float for several hours. There is nothing that soothes my soul like having my feet in the current and being surrounded by sights and sounds of rushing water, rustling leaves, chirping birds and drifting clouds in a blue sky. If you, too, want to find a peaceful way to spend an afternoon, here is a how-to poem just for you.

How to Float Down a River

Choose a float-
paddle a sleek canoe or kayak
plop down in a tube plump with air
float on the lazy current.
Settle in–
lean your head back
let your feet dangle
trail your fingers through the water
Drift–
twirl and spin downstream
like clouds in the sky
ride the ripples through whitewater
Listen–
leaves whisper in the breeze
water gurgles over rocks
birds chirp and chatter in the trees
Watch–
turtles plunk into the water
dragonflies dance across your knees
a great blue heron glides past the trees
Breathe

The best seat in the house!

Each Friday, I am excited to take part in Poetry Friday, where writers share their love of all things poetry. Carol hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today at Carol’s Corner. She introduces poet Lynn Ungar. Drop by and see what poetry morsels are offered this week.

Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates Program. If you decide to make a purchase by clicking on the affiliate links, including in the linked picture above. Amazon will pay me a commission. This commission doesn’t cost you any extra. All opinions are my own.

18 Comments on Poetry Friday: How to Float Down a River

  1. Laura Purdie Salas
    July 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm (6 years ago)

    Kay, this is just such a lovely poem. And post. I think we can all live with joy, even when times are hard and the news is terrible. I have been inspired by the joy of kids and families living in very tough situations… Like you, I find water incredibly soothing. Thanks for letting us join you on your float down the river. The whole poem is beautiful, but this is my favorite part:

    Drift–
    twirl and spin downstream
    like clouds in the sky
    ride the ripples through whitewater

    You captured that let-go feeling so well!

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      July 4, 2018 at 2:44 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Laura. I agree–we can find joy if we look for it–and finding joy doesn’t mean we ignore or overlook the hard things in life. Like you, I have been inspired by some of my students who found joy in the hardest of situations.

      Reply
  2. Carol Varsalona
    July 1, 2018 at 10:30 pm (6 years ago)

    Kay, I read your post and commented but may not have hit send. Your poem makes the canoeing/kayaking sound so peaceful. The drifting and listening parts are the ones for me. You made it easy for letting me join you. Enjoy the week,

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      July 4, 2018 at 2:43 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Carol. It was such a peaceful afternoon.

      Reply
  3. Michelle Kogan
    July 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm (6 years ago)

    Beautiful Kay, love your 5 key leading words, “Settle in–Drift–Listen–Watch–Breathe,” think I feel better already–thanks for the virtual ride, and I love your “dragonflies dance across your knees,” thanks!

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      July 1, 2018 at 4:55 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Michelle. Those dragonflies (or more accurately damselflies) were definitely dancing. It seemed to be mating season that afternoon. They brought a few laughs and comments.

      Reply
  4. Tabatha
    July 1, 2018 at 3:37 am (6 years ago)

    A great moment to share! I especially like the second stanza — so relaxing.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      July 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Tabatha!

      Reply
  5. Donna Smith
    June 30, 2018 at 9:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Sounds so, so peaceful and relaxing – even reading it brings you right there! Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      July 1, 2018 at 4:54 pm (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Donna. I hope rereading it will bring back the peace of that afternoon on days I’m not quite so relaxed.

      Reply
  6. Carol Wilcox
    June 29, 2018 at 6:23 pm (6 years ago)

    I am a total water lover and your poem captures perfectly the peace I feel any time I am there. I need this right now! Thank you for this important reminder. And a friend gave me JOY for Christmas and I have never read it. I need to dig in really soon.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      June 30, 2018 at 7:52 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Carol. I hope you enjoy JOY. I find it is the perfect book for the times we are in now.

      Reply
  7. Ruth (thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com)
    June 29, 2018 at 4:00 pm (6 years ago)

    Such a lovely description! I can imagine being there and how restorative it must have been.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      June 30, 2018 at 7:52 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Ruth! It was restorative–especially being surrounded by so much green along with the water.

      Reply
  8. Leslie Leibhardt Goodman
    June 29, 2018 at 12:03 pm (6 years ago)

    I recently vacationed in Mexico and enjoyed the peaceful escape from life’s stresses while bobbing along on a float. Your poem brought back the experience and memories perfectly.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      June 30, 2018 at 7:51 am (6 years ago)

      The beaches in Mexico sound good, too. There is just something peaceful about floating along on the water wherever it is.

      Reply
  9. Linda Baie
    June 29, 2018 at 10:11 am (6 years ago)

    I love the “settle in” “drift” “listen” and “watch”, sounds like a perfect time, Kay.

    Reply
    • Mrs. McGriff
      June 30, 2018 at 7:50 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks, Linda. I’m ready to go float again!

      Reply

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