Letting go

This was inspired by Jilly’s Jim Harrison quote:

“The river can’t heal everything”  ~ Jim Harrison

The painting, by August Macke is of the Rhine at Hersel.


Into the water it goes,

the weight of the past a round stone,

and the ripples it shivers so bright,

silver flickers, still I stand alone.


Into the river, brown trout

swish shadows where currents run deep,

tressed water of anger and love,

drawn down to the ocean to sleep.


If you’d once whispered soft words at dawn

when the harsh morning dragged me awake,

but the rose petals left me the thorn,

and the shame of the day was to break.


Into the water I send

the petals and thorns and the dreams,

to sail in a barque with white sails,

where silver and golden light streams.


Into the river we go,

swept in dark arms of the flow,

perhaps at the end will come peace,

when your face fades to moonlight—release.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

27 thoughts on “Letting go”

      1. Maybe because it is a really bad 80’s kamp song riddled with stereotyped masculinity? 😘

  1. The symbolism of the colors works so well – white-death & silver-calm. I returned several times to the question of why the weight of the past would be a round stone, not just a stone and it occurs to me that roundness comes with time and shaping by constant use. We jangle the weight of the past in our pockets, roll it in our hands, until it is round. This is beautiful, Jane!

    1. Thank you! That’s exactly right. Roundness comes with age, attrition, and we value smooth round stones more than the jagged dull ones. I’m pleased you liked this 🙂

  2. Your poet’s voice in this worked so well with the prompting quote. “I know the river can’t… nevertheless….” OMG, it’s the stuff of the analyst’s couch in the dark office! It’s the poetic laments, volumes 1 through infinity. Quite good!

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