Wednesday, December 28, 2011

River Brink - a cento

The stream is brimful in the grassy fringe

stone bridge among the withes

        old as the elms that shelter it.

A thunder of horses stretches up the slope       

moist necks 

        freed from the harness.

Source text:


  1. Wow, that was quick!
    As I said, I love the image of the horses
    freed from harnesses-
    brings back memories of the way they charge up hills.

    I saw this blog before and admired it.
    It's beautiful!

  2. Thank you!

    That's one of the best things about found poems - (sometimes) images like that emerge from the text like hidden messages. (Then, other times not so much.)

  3. Speaking of horses, and harnesses, do you know this one, by Jane Kenyon?

    In the Nursing Home

    She is like a horse grazing
    a hill pasture that someone makes
    smaller by coming every night
    to pull the fences in and in.

    She has stopped running wide loops,
    stopped even the tight circles.
    She drops her head to feed; grass
    is dust, and the creekbed’s dry.

    Master, come with your light
    halter. Come and bring her in.

  4. Beautiful - and eerily poignant today. Thank you.

    I wasn't familiar with this poem. Now horse poems are trotting through my mind. Linda Gregg's The Weight was the first to come to mind:

    Two horses were put together in the same paddock.
    Night and day. In the night and in the day
    wet from heat and the chill of the wind
    on it. Muzzle to water, snorting, head swinging
    and the taste of bay in the shadowed air.
    The dignity of being. They slept that way,
    knowing each other always.
    Withers quivering for a moment,
    fetlock and the proud rise at the base of the tail,
    width of back. The volume of them, and each other's weight.
    Fences were nothing compared to that.
    People were nothing. They slept standing,
    their throats curved against the other's rump.
    They breathed against each other,
    whinnied and stomped.
    There are things they did that I do not know.
    The privacy of them had a river in it.
    Had our universe in it. And the way
    its border looks back at us with its light.
    This was finally their freedom.
    The freedom an oak tree knows.
    That is built at night by stars.

  5. My first cento! (It's terrific. Thanks.) I read that the form was invented about 1700 years ago.

    1. Thanks Charles. I seem to have let this blog stall. I returned to thoughts of horses recently in another erratically tended blog where I thought I'd keep games and re-posted poems and whatnot. Here's a link to the horses: