Flood

I’d rather be up here somewhere
Than in that river rushing on,
Dissolving tears without a care
And draining hope till it has gone.

With hope removed, sent off to sea,
The body stumbles far behind,
Soon mindless without misery,
A plaything for some nymph to find.


Linked to dVerse Poetics hosted by Paul Dear with the theme “The River”.

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

64 thoughts on “Flood”

  1. Floods are indeed a terrible thing. We used to get a flood every three or so years when I lived in West Yorkshire but luckily we too were away from trouble up on the hill. Always difficult visiting the town afterwards and seeing the devastation though. Great tke on the prompt Frank. Thanks for joining.

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    1. Thanks, Paul! I’ve been through a couple of floodings near where we lived at different places. One was a tiny creek that became quite wide overnight although not very deep. Our neighbors used a row boat. Luckily we could get out the front door. It was a lot of fun watching the water rise, but not so much fun for people with basements.

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  2. rivers can both be gentle and treacherous, and I can picture the destruction you describe with your words here. Draining hope till its all gone is very symbolic of the effect it can have physically and emotionally. Lots of strong emotions in those few lines.

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      1. In your situation, I can see how real floods could be very dangerous. I was looking at this more metaphorically as situations that people find themselves flooded with despair.

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  3. We both wrote about floods, shedding light on the dark side of rushing water; dikes & dams busting, swollen arroyos choked with flash floods spiked with lightning

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    1. Yes, we did. I was in Colorado Springs where our daughter lives and walked on the trail at Monument Valley Park. Monument Creek goes through the park and I heard it had flash floods that took out the bridges. Seeing how deep that valley is I wondered how high the flash flood would rise. Of course that is a very mountainous area draining off rainwater rapidly. Thanks.

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  4. I took this as a metaphorical flood of unwanted, though I imagine the literal flood to be just as severe if not more so. I liked the rhyme and tempo of this as well.

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    1. Yes, I was thinking of this as a metaphorical flooding with reminders of the damage a real flood could cause. I am grateful for the prompt, since this would not have come to my mind without it. I am glad you liked the rhyme and meter.

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  5. Hey Frank. Yes, water can be treacherous. I remember setting up camp on our property in North Carolina mountains years ago, far enough from a stream, and by morning the water was 6 inches from the tent. Scary. Good poem….and it points to the possible fear of floods….we get them in South Georgia a lot and I always wonder about the domestic and wildlife. gone.

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    1. I’ve been surprised by how high water can rise. Rivers don’t wait either. Although I avoid getting in them unless it is a tiny brook I like walking on river trails and watching from a distance. There is something soothing about a river from the safety of a trail.

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      1. Yes, a toll path as on canals. However, the toll path by my house in NJ where I was raised was paved by the graves of the Irish workman. The Raritan Canal built in 1832, by all Irish immigrants (black slaves were thought to be too valuable to use on this canal) but the typhoid fever hit and the Irish died in the hundreds. Changed the way I felt about this toll path.

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      2. Most of the river trails I’ve walked along are in forest preserves, but I do remember walking along an old canal with a path that I assume was used to tow the boats long ago. I didn’t know much of the history behind it. There are more ways to get washed away than by falling into a raging river. I would still walk such a trail, but my awareness would drift to the history as well as the scenery.

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    1. Thank you! It is not really about the surface river. People are usually able to avoid these. It is more about believing one has fallen into a metaphorical river rushing them away whether one actually has or not. If I rewrite this, I will probably put in another stanza offering a more positive resolution.

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  6. SMIles.. raised
    on River Front..
    Grand Mother’s
    Warning.. put a finger
    in the edge of a River
    Bank..
    withdraw
    a nub of knuckle
    bone skinless
    left
    in
    Alligator Teeth..
    hmm.. i visualized
    the pARt after Grand
    Mother sAid.. it’LL bite
    your finger off..
    and oh..
    Lord..
    the floods..
    ruined stuffed animals of Love..
    And now all i remember when
    i go back to that Bank is Family Love..
    Better Love than Alligator River Teeth..:)

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    1. The nymph is a common theme, kind of the opposite of using something like H2O to describe the river. It personifies the river which I kind of like doing even though I suspect it goes against Ruskin’s 19th century pathetic fallacy objection to anthropomorphism.

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  7. Having had to canoe to our city home in Iowa for about a week…..and seeing other folks’ homes in our neighborhood absolutely devastated (ours just had the lower level inundated by a few inches)…I do know the “anger” of flooding waters. Yep — sure would have liked to have seen a nymph arrive those days! 🙂

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    1. Although I normally think of nymphs as beautiful maidens bathing in a gently flowing river I wonder if the ancients thought the nymphs were also responsible for the flooding.

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  8. I like the mood you have created by having the poem’s speaker keeping a safe distance ‘up here’ from the river dissolving tears and draining hope … it’s interesting how nature can reflect human feelings in different ways.

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    1. I enjoyed your blog and I’m following it. I would recommend looking at other people’s blogs. Pay attention to what widgets they add to their blogs. If you like what they did add something similar to your blog. Also, to increase visibility you could participate in writing prompts. This post was motivated by one of the dVerse Poets Pub writing prompts. I would not have written it without that prompt. There are other groups like this. What you do is write a post according to the prompt, link it in their original post and then comment on the other people that linked with yours. This gets you familiar with the people who are writing the same sort of posts that you are and get you in the habit of commenting and receiving comments. I also have a Google+, twitter and facebook page. They are mainly used to highlight other people’s work that I particularly enjoyed and help make this blog more visible. I take photos with my phone and use the ones I enjoy to brighten up the page. You can also add audio. I store my audio recordings on SoundCloud.

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