Anchored by the river

Off prompt for NaPoWriMo today. I hate lists and my heart isn’t in it today anyway. Another puente instead.


On the right bank was home,

museums, galleries, market and school,

Sunday walks hand in hand, lovers,

later with children and changed perspectives.

There were friends there and parks

with sandpits and swings, cafés, smell of pastis,

coffee, and amid the endless serpentine streets

and right-angled, towering Haussmanniens,

the ordinary grubbiness of life


~anchored by the river~


the memories run

around the island spanned by bridges,

water and stone and iron,

intricate traceries of history, craftsmanship and passion.

Distance has enveloped memories in gentle mists,

an immutable past that remains,

though the heart is eaten by flames,

and time like the river rolls away,

never going back.


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.

19 thoughts on “Anchored by the river”

      1. I’m always astounded when the prompt is for something complicated and time consuming like a villanelle, and the instant it drops in my inbox half a dozen people have managed to write one.

      2. It makes it a bit of a race I find to get a poem belted out in the first handful. Doesn’t necessarily make for polished poetry though we can always go back and rework.

      3. It shouldn’t be, I agree, but I’m the first one to dive in. I get the prompt and write a poem straight away. It’s partly to do with the time zone. I get the prompt at 9pm so it’s either write it straight away or leave it until the next day when I have other things to do first. If the idea’s there, I have to get it down or I’ll forget it. Or worse, dream about it 🙂

      4. I seldom write at 9 PM, but sometimes I think about a poem at night. It’s 3 PM here when the post shows up. If I’m home and not busy, I can do it, but it all depends.

      5. One of the reasons I don’t sleep well I think is that I carry on too late. I break off at about 10.30 and take Finbar for a walk, feed the cats, then read. It isn’t usually enough to decompress.

      6. I get up just after eight, usually after about four/five hours sleep. Time to take Finbar our now and listen to the owls and watch the deer and the badgers. Good night!

  1. When I saw the photos of the fire, it really reminded me of the World Trade Center falling. I hated those buildings, and yet they were part of the landscape and my history with the city–my daughter’s high school was a few blocks away so I saw it all the time. Your words capture that feeling perfectly (without the longer history Europe has that we don’t…)
    No list for me either. (K)

    1. With the World Trade Centre, it was the loss of life that upset me. Seeing Towering Inferno when I was at school was enough to give me nightmares for decades afterwards. The towers themselves to anyone outside the US were just chunks of concrete, easily replicated. Notre Dame was the opposite—no loss of life, just pure historical symbol and masterpiece.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s