Orogodo River


No non-stop debris stopping
your flow to your kindred
underground, all habitat
charred by tropical sun
and drifted away by wind.
Sediment rock white, swell up.

Greens and greens, all greener,
all from grains of peasants
to feed themselves,
all by the river bank.

Streams, shallow and narrow,
flow slow. Where are you?
Answer's snobbish, silent as grave,
sparse as the flow.
Swimmers that bathed
in your water have died.

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This Poems Story

The masked speaker, whom we do not know, leaves his home for a distant land for his pursuits. returning one day to find a once expansive, fast flowing river becoming scanty, flowing sluggish; he conjectured significant portion of this body of water did not just dry up but rather became a tributary of another river. The impression we get from the speaker is that the river symbolically sustained the meaning of life as a social bond in the community - a place to swim and wash up. But after it dries up, the fertile land left behind is converted to agriculture to grow subsistence foods. So, the quality of life is intact, only, things were transformed.