paddling poem by steven james humphreys

paddling paddling

paddling long

up that

cold old rapid river

battling against that

futile tide drowning in

the essence I used to call me

surrounded by bottomless time

whirlpools pulling me thereunder

dark clouds clapping thunder

I have been killed but set free in an odd

sort of harmony

floating downstream

dead and lifeless

flowing down

with overflowing human debris

the stream was victor

winning the war

over me.


around the next bend

I heard rushing water

crashing crashing like no other

soon I drifted over the waterfall

falling like a helpless wetted leaf

submerged deep in a large lazy

river amongst many

faceless eternal friends

whose heads like mine

bobbed above the water helplessly

like red and white fishing floats…

those unnamed billions and billions of

souls who fought the stream paddling

throughout their lives had them cut short

for upstream they went against their gut

and challenged the current’s will

until it broke their spirit

like a broken back snapped like a twig

endless ages before I was born

when the mind of man emerged from

the darkness of his own skull

I was

one of them

an unknown soul

relentlessly paddling paddling

drifting aimlessly

in an endless pool of


such as God



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