“How many times I saw my western city/Dream by her river.”
--Sara Teasdale, “Sunset: St. Louis” from Flame and Shadow
"A mourning figure walks, and will not rest..."
--Vachel Lindsay, "Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight"
That’s what old river towns do,
dream by their rivers, dream of the
days of glory and wealth and triumphs,
when the making of things was important
and the shipping of things was vital and the
banking of things was critical and the litigating
of things made and shipped and banked was lifeblood;
and now old river towns doze and occasionally half-wake,
with ears closed and one eye open, dreaming by their rivers,
and with ears open and one eye closed, dreaming of the
mourning figure walking
the prairie streets.
This is a poem for the Random Act of Poetry sponsored by the High Calling Blogs. L.L. Barkat provided the prompt: Begin with a sentence with a picture in it, like from a poem, and then write from a memory or event or simply what comes to mind. I chose the lines above from the Sara Teasdale and Vachel Lindsay poems, both of which are featured today at TweetSpeak Poetry for National Poetry Month.
And Louise Gallagher at Recover Your Joy got inspired by all of this and wrote "River Deep."