Morning on the River

I trace familiar steps planted in morning walks from every yesterday

The walk waits my coming in knowledge that I will not change my way

Yet, I would not belittle my morning treasure by calling it routine

Each walk reveals the difference in things which merely appear the same

Sameness I think, is the consequence of an indecent detachment

Somewhat like a fine meal which one refuses the necessary time to savor

Or a good wine which is used to quench a thirst instead of waking the palette


My river winds along my walk and appears, I suppose, to never change

But its inhabitants color its sameness never the same at all

Morning light comes each day in varied hues reflected on the surface

the river mirrors a change of clothes since yesterday

The high cirrus linger silently filtering the rising of the morning light

The cumulus of yesterday diffused and splashed the light indiscriminately

I am not partial to her dress, each change steals a measure of my breath


The trees, like individual cathedrals, seem to stand each day, the same

But they too invite the cloud, the light and the season to change their dress

The sun parts their branches, paints their shadowed souls upon a changing ground

The clouds shift shade and light like a painter moving color across the canvas

Yesterday the breeze was more subdued and the branches held their color

Today the colors dance with a breeze with little purpose, except to dance

Today they dance a waltz, but I have seen, at times, the madness in a tango


Yesterday Canadian geese orchestrated the music for my early pilgrimage

Today, ducks splash feverishly along eddied banks I did not notice yesterday

Sometimes the squirrels chatter from towering conifers mirrored on the water

Otters go about their business and fish leap at every winged sacrifice

I am undetached and captured by a surrounding that is forever different

Routine is surrender, a dying in ourselves, a blindness that settles in our souls

Whatever we see or whatever we hear is only ourselves, reflected in where we are.

Comments 52 comments

MzChaos profile image

MzChaos 4 years ago from Indianapolis

Nicely done!


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

The cathedral of nature at its finest. In reverence we watch and await in breathless wonder, as each new day brings shimmering colors that flow through the stained glass cut just for our own pleasure. Thanks for sharing this walk of life in the beauty of nature about us.


Valleypoet 4 years ago

A great poem, and how very true....a familiar nature walk will always provide surprises no matter how many times you walk it. Enjoyed this very much. Thanks for sharing. Voted up


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Beautiful reflections Alan, each day is new in it's own way even though familiar.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

You are not only a phenomenal poet, arb, you are a profound philosopher as well. Inspiring and fascinating message here, my friend.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

I am struck by this

Sameness I think, is the consequence of an indecent detachment

You are so aware--and maybe that is the best tribute to life--


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Curiad! I hope you are well my friend. Yes, even familiarity begs distinction. We simply need to wake to its illustration.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello drbj! I appreciate your faithful reading, your gracious comments and your astute perception. We two must be, two of a kind!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Audrey! My favorite line. That a fellow and admired poet has plucked it from my vine verifies my love of it. Thank you.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello MZ and thank you for reading. I adore brevity and you are so good at it.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hi again whonunuwho! Stain glass, cut just for our pleasure. A stunning apparition. Thank you for revisiting and the gracious comment. Also for the follow and the humbling comment posted on my profile. Your praise left me agast. Thanks again


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello valleypoet and I bid you welcome to hub pages. I see that you are from England. I suspect the english countryside affords you many such walks. Perhaps we shall read from one. Thank you for your gracious comment.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Such wisdom and reflection comes forth in your writing. This is a beuatiful piece and one of your best, in my opinion.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Nice piece. Descriptive and true. Thank you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Of all your poetry which I've loved since I began reading it almost as far back as I've been on Hubpages, this one is surely the very most perfect in every way. The communion of you and that special environment so dear to your heart and its activity and yours simply melds into one peaceful and magnificent experience which you've somehow brought to life in word pictures as artistically as a painter, but as unselfconsciously as a child expressing the spontaneous sense of wonder with his brand-new experiences. Yours are not all new as his, but you see the newness in it each time in various ways. I'm thrilled by your choices of words and the imagery they bring to life!

As I read, I was thinking, "Oh - I must mention that, it's so beautiful"; and then the next line presents more beauty and depth. So I'd need to quote it all to do it justice; - and you've already accomplished that.

But one line that grabbed my full attention was the same one Audrey mentoned and you said is your favorite. That one belongs in collections of beautiful quotations.

I'm so happy that you're writing again! :-) - I'm smiling joyously.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning Jim! I thank you for your comment. I was delighted with its outcome. It was there for some time, but, came to life when I walked the other day and came home. My wife said why don't you walk the other river trail, don't you get bored? I simply answered no, but, I began to think, why don't I get bored and it began to pour from me. Being bored comes from a detachment to where we are. Poetry attaches us and I find that as I walk such reflection begins to write and I merely pencil it in time. Be well my friend. I am 6 days away from my journey to Bannf and another crossed out dream from my bucket list.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning hatter! Thanks for coming by. How is the bay area these days? Will be coming down there for thanksgiving. By then I will need a warm reprieve.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning butterfly! I am delighted that you have found this so enjoyable. The line which you and Audrey mention is somewhat of a revelation to me for I have come to realize that we choose to become detached subconsciously. With people, with things and with places. We choose detachment and then wonder of the change. The only thing that is different is our relation to it. I have been spending considerable time driving this past week. Just me and the dog and my old truck. A few jobs which require a couple of hours round trip. I've turned the radio off and reflection begins to write. Yesterday, I was thinking on a drive and by the time I arrived at my destination another poem was complete. Now it simply waits a penciling.

Like much of the northwest we have a wild fire about 50 miles northwest of us. The winds left their usual way and shifted, coming in from the north. It was a good wind and it left ash scattered over Bend. When all the elements are right, wind, smoke, clouds and time of day, the sun becomes bright orange and filtered so that you may actually sit and stare at it. I can not describe its color, but, it is extraordinary. This morning the wind comes back to its usual course (southerly) and blows the smoke north. I am now thinking of our drive up through Washington, Idaho and Canada. It will take us by fires burning around the NW. I anticipate some spetacular skies and erie views of the cascades and sawtooth ranges. I have much to do before I leave and remain hopeful to empty the clutter in my head before leaving. BTW, smiling joyously is simply your attachment to every moment of everyday.It is your refusal to sleep walk through life and it is what I adore in you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

How good to hear the trigger for your contemplating why it's never boring to walk the same trail again - (and again?) It's so familiar for me, too. When we love something that becomes our familiar path, sometimes we just embrace it whole without a lot of probing, but when we're alert to and aware of its nuances, we actually experience it as a kind of new experience, which may happen each time. Or - sometimes we may just prefer to enjoy the comfort of the familiar path and its surroundings.

It's so good that this is possible. As some limitations are inevitable as the years go by, how wonderful to have this 'dial' to see the same things in different garb and with different effects on us internally. As you say - nothing is changed except our own perception and relationship with it. But that's the story of everything in life: our perceptions & relationships paint its views and dictate its effects on us.

Driving alone in quietude is so very conducive to exploring nooks & crannies perhaps buried in our consciousness which don't always have opportunity to be probed or triggered.(Doggies, I'm sure, are such understanding companions, allowing one to think - even to talk to oneself out loud!) One benefit of cell phones for me is that they permit me to talk to myself in public or semi-private places without arousing people to summon the white panel truck and jacket that ties in the back! I don't do it a lot, but I do talk to myself & love doing it. Laughing out loud with no one else around is such fun, too! Don't want my 'laugher' to get stale. Not sure how it would go over in a public place, though - with others wandering about.

You're fortunate if your poems written mentally last till you get to the pencil. Sometimes mine flee so rapidly when no pencil is handy, they're lost in the ether forever. Occasionally, they reemerge, but not often enough. There's one just out of reach now, in fact.

How amazing to be able to gaze directly at the sun when its filtered to make it safe. I did that once (1954) when I was grieving for my sister. Sun was not filtered, but in a bright blue sky. I 'saw' a chariot of fire, which I can still summon to memory. (Might be what made me weird? ;-)

Your word picture of the indescribable bright orange sun filtered by that exact combination of elements instantly reminds me of the picture you used with your 'Autumns Warning' poem. Though the sun itself was not included in the pic, and though the leaves themselves obviously were bursting with bright red & orange, there's another presence of light coming from somewhere out of the frame which could be from such a sun. Even a wispy mist in the not-too-far-distance could be from such a filtering.

Hearing about the PNW gives me insight into what their early married life was like for my parents. They began it in those parts, living in Seattle and working all up into Canada. I've probably mentioned it. My, what contrast to where they ended up!

I can only imagine how wondrous those views will be on your trip. If emptying the clutter in your head before embarking, I wait in eager anticipation for poetry to pour forth onto the pages! It will be lovely to read in your absence, to be updated by more when you return!

My attachment to every moment is in a form of my detachment from clinging and possessing them. Otherwise, I'd be unable to embrace each next one! Thank you for that lovely compliment. So right: - no sleepwalking through life for me. You know me well. It's an adventure, even when it's at its nadir. That's the secret. Expectation of all 'highs' - (as Lucy of "Peanuts" fame declared to be hers) - just won't fly! One can't just imagine or wish for a lopsided life, which it would have to be, but which actually consists of peaks and valleys of varying degrees. Without life as it is in its moments, what else is there for mortals? Entertaining warped expectations and/or pervading gloom is foreign to real faith, besides.

BTW - I've various cities plugged in on my iPhone's simple built-in app, to check current weather conditions, temperatures & forecasts. I like to look at both Dallas & Garland for mine & take an average, since I'm in Dallas-proper, but on the NE rim next to Garland, which is often significantly cooler, being a less metropolitan slightly more northerly place. At present - Sunday - 1:30PM, it's 68 for both, raining gently, possibly heading for 72 in the afternoon and a 63 low during the coming night. Meanwhile, at Bend, it's reported as cloudy, 64, heading for 79 in the afternoon, with 43 for the low during the coming night. Where Michael is, near Georgetown, CO, beats both for chill: 54 right now, afternoon high expected of 71 and low, 38. The rest of the week there, highs will be only in 50s and 60s. For here and Bend, highs this week look like some 70s and 80s here and all 80s there, as sun takes over both areas. I'll bet those 80s lingering for a bit will be well invested by you! YOU.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Good morning butterfly! I've five days left and running out of time. My mother and my youngest sister have been in town for the past 5 days (staying with my other sister, also in Bend) and with my already overstretched life, I've done little to prepare.

I've finances which need attention, 4 SS appointments, an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow (6 month check up and chewing out) getting the house in order before leaving, and things which need purchasing for the plans I've laid for Bannf.

I suspect I will have little time to pencil my thoughts and poems before leaving. I am doing well to respond to comments. The winds have shifted again and I've noticed some irratation from it. It can't be good for us. I'm hoping the walk this morning does not aggravate me any more. I leave the house at 6:30 each morning, returning to get ready for what my day demands. There are plans I have for Bannf which will require some time with google and I am one to plan too much, but, no plan will leave me floundering in waste when I get there. The temperatures are nice but the smoke deters its benefit. I'm sure it will alter my usual ways. Be well dear butterfly. I will touch bases with you before leaving.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Indeed, your plate must be a platter to hold all you have on it! I fully understand! Please don't give the cardiologist more fodder on which to chew you out by stressing about it all. I, too, tend to plan too much for everything. I've run across detailed lists I made as a teenager and in my 30s for everything from weekend trips to hosting the bridge club; but I've learned to keep it simpler & more relaxed, knowing doing what IS necessary will help allay last minute and during panic and the rest is window-dressing. Google helps with maps & clear directions, even satellite pictures! I'm so visual, it helps to see what to expect.

You can always cut the morning walk shorter if it feels like it's aggravating your breathing, and thereby, sparing your heart. The itinerary isn't written in stone.

No need to respond to this. Just know you're loved and wished all good tidings, both for your week of preparation and for the start & progress of your lovely vacation. Don't forget that the house won't change while you're away, it will be waiting for your return in whatever condition; and with all the folks staying in it, your preparations beforehand might be superfluous, anyway. Get YOU, your vehicle & your vacation gear ready, pay the bills, meet your SS & doctor appointments, the do only whatever the rest of the time & pleasant desire permits on house preparations. It can't be all that disorderly, and if so - so what? You'll be spared from seeing it while gazing at the beauties of Banff! :-)

Have a great time!

Hugs - me


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Your river is absolutely gorgeous - as are the words used to describe it! your appreciation of your old friend is heartwarming..there's no place like home..there's no place like home...click,click,click..


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Well butterfly, I've decided to switch physicians and place myself in your care. Your advice heals my spirit much better than than his!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Karn, I suppose home is always really where our hearts are at. Perhaps we leave them there and do not feel complete until we return.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

(grin)


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

Arb, GREAT poem!

I felt as if I spent a wonderful weekend at that beautiful lake.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Nature and Poems go hand and hand and this one is no exception...Lovely, like a Breath of Fresh Air!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Welcome home b. I see you have writen already. I will make my way there eventually and reap my weekly laugh. Thanks for reading b.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I just want to wish you well and a joyous getaway on the eve of your departure! I'll be thinking about you enjoying the gorgeous scenery, pure air and relaxation!! Hugs.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

It is 2:30 a.m. Just got up, course I was in bed at 8:00; what a bore! Anyway, just my coffee and me. Yesterday was taxing with so many loose ends to tie up, it wiped me out. Today we will drive to Bonners Ferry Idaho (close to the boarder ) about 9 hours and stay the night. Cross the boarder in the morning and then about 4-5 to Bannf. I wanted to drive into Canada early and enjoy the scenery coming in rather than drive at night. Anyway, gives me a chance to check my list and make sure I've not forgotten anything. The benefit of the kids still being here is we have a built in house and pet sitter.

Be well dear butterfly! Look forward to a return with pics and poems!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

I'm delighted that you read my bon voyage message before departing!

Hope you got a little more sleep after you were up, but if you got right to sleep at 8PM, even up at 2:30 isn't too shabby a night's rest. Hope you leave all the ifs, buts and oh! no!s. :-) When we would go to the ranch for lengthy stays, it was like being released when we drove off, got through Dallas traffic and headed out on the open road! Preparations were extensive, considering that we'd be there weeks with no trips to town for groceries or other supplies - 100 miles away. What fun it was, too!

My helpers keep me updated now so I can vicariously enjoy. Trent just got back and talked about how well he slept down there. Ah-h-h-h.

And that is what I visualize you enjoying on your lovely trip - great days seeing the gorgeous scenery and restful nights with no taxing things to distract the pleasures.

Hugs. Be safe.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Alan -- Lovely, musical and oh so visual poem I will be musing about "indecent detachment" and all your words suggest. My apologies for coming to this so late. One of my grown sons has been in the hospital for two weeks and I have been juggling hospital visits and teaching.

(I don't wish to be young again, but oh to have the energy of youth and the calm and clarity of age -- seems like there was a series of hubs that addressed such things.) :)

So glad to read of your excitement and preparations for the long awaited trip to Banff. I hope that it has been all and more than you hoped. ~~ Theresa


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Hello, Alan! If my count is right, this is the day of your return. If so, no doubt you've a mountain of things to be attended to, but I wanted to welcome you back! Look forward to hearing about the trip and seeing the pix and poems! :-)


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello butterfly. I got home last evening and have spent the day putting out fires. I think that they are 75% contained. I've 735 pics to examine, download and choose from. I am looking forward to writing about the Canadian Rockies as I use the pictures. Thanks for the prompt welcome. I was happy to hear from you. All is, once again, right with the world.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Indeed it is! You've been sorely missed! But here you are!

Things have been happening, fast and furiously on and offline in my neck of the woods. I'm panting!

Can't wait to see your photos - wow - so many. And I can only imagine how many fires awaited you on your return! Just enjoy editing the pictures and reliving the moments captured in them. You needn't rush. We've waited this long, we can bear up a little longer! (I hope!) :-)


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 4 years ago

arb, can I just say you rendered me speechless...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"""The trees, like individual cathedrals, seem to stand each day, the same

But they too invite the cloud, the light and the season to change their dress"""

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Such beautiful expression such attention to detail; can I dare say that for a day you chose to be no one? That perhaps you found that fleeting moment?

Much love!


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello sweet pea! The detail, the expression are not mine. Rather they are the impressed moments speaking through me. They speak and I write, however, I will take credit for being awakened to what they wish to say. As always, thanks for reading and for your precious comments.

Much love returned!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Alan - I am hub wandering this evening (not hopping, just wandering . . . an entirely different occupation and mentality). This is just as lovely. musical, and visual as it was eight weeks ago when I first read it. Glad I wandered this way. I hope you and tour family are doing well. Sharing. ~~Theresa


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Thank you Theresa for sending this piece around to me--I am still struck by the same line--

Sameness I think, is the consequence of an indecent detachment

You poem feels as fresh on the reread as it did when I first read it--a tribute to you my friend---


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 4 years ago

Dear Arb - Perhaps this is the first poem of yours that I've been graced to read. Looks like you have a large following who eagerly awaits the words that flow from your hand.

Truly, each day and moment are "new" and different for you, certainly not boring or dull. To walk the path over again and see all nature's beauty freshly as the passing seasons into each day like rainbow colors.

Besides the poetic phrases, it felt like a story on the essence of living. Now, with the heart in need of healing, the emotions become sensitive to all impression.

If I may be so bold, you may like to listen to Dr Aadil, cardiologist who speaks with me each Wednesday on my internet radio show. We have already finished 45 shows this year. They are all archived for your enjoyment. Visit us live, chat, comment, call in or ask your questions for Dr Aadil to answer on air.

Many blessings

Debby


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Theresa. Thank you for wandering my way. It is so delightful when friends come by. I am doing well under the approachment of holiday, work and family. I trust that you to are faring well. I suspect a semester break is dawning. I hope that you take some rest.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

As always Audrey, thanks for reading. It too for me, is a favorite line.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

Hello Debby and thank you for reading. Nature is a natural medicine which calms the heart for those who let her in.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

So this is where everyone has congregated! What a lovely gathering, here to enjoy again this lovely poem that poured forth from your heart - and inspiration.


arb profile image

arb 4 years ago from oregon Author

And now butterfly, the gathering is made complete. Thank you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Thank YOU! When I see that picture at the top of this hub, it is like a balm. So peaceful and restorative. It's good to know it's yours to enjoy.


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

you made me feel as if I was there-excellent poem


Joanne M Olivieri 3 years ago

Beautifully written and nature does provide surprises and changes each day. Voted Up


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you ocfireflies, sorry about the delay. fell through the cracks.


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Thank you Joanne, I appreciate both the read and the kind comment.


James-wolve profile image

James-wolve 3 years ago from Morocco

Very beautiful, wonderfully written with great flow. you have a great talent, thanks for sharing!


arb profile image

arb 3 years ago from oregon Author

Nice to meet you James. Thanks so much for the visit and the kind comment.

Submitting comments has been temporarily disabled.

Click to Rate This Article
working