Lives and their rivers

by strannikov

Tears flowed once beside

the rivers of Babylon

that flow to this day.


The Nile's crocodiles

gnashed conical teeth where barge

and basket floated.


The Yangtze helps fill

the Pacific and helps the

Indus drain Tibet.


The Ganges swallows

the sins of its bathers and,

later, their ashes.


The Jordan borders

wilderness and promise both,

Christ and Baptist taught.


The Tiber's troubled

no one as much as those perched

on Rome's many hills.


Firenze is fine

so long as the mad Arno

slides through unprovoked.


Oui oui oui, Paris—

unless the Seine flows berserk

like mad Parisians.


London's lifeguards stand

soaked to their stiff upper lips

whene'er the Thames swims.


The Scots' Spey, they say,

has been distilled to barrel

potable water!

Conrad piloted

Kurtz's unsounded Congo

but only by night.


Fishermen, take note:

the Amazon's piranhas

can match your hunger.


The Rio is grand,

most as a moat permitting

escape from within.


Huck and Jim steered down

their own Mississipp without

paddlewheel astern.


The pristine Hudson's

waters dance in the dark of

the East River's rinse.


By all accounts our

Potomac's placid currents

remain treacherous.


Defying water's

gravity, we crawled ashore

to carry water.