Heraclitus

Geoff Slater’s mural at McAdam Railway Station. ‘You cannot step in the same river twice.’ Heraclitus.

Heraclitus

Nothing will ever be
as it was before.

Time, like water,
like these people marching,
constantly flows,
trickling through my fingers,
uncatchable, unstoppable,
 sand filtering through
the hour glass’ waist.

Water flows, currents shift,
rocks wear down,
banks slide and fall.

“You cannot walk
in the same river twice
nor ever attend
the same demonstration.”

Nor can you recapture
that first, fine, careless rapture,
the touch of that first
drop of river water.

Kneeling by the river bank,
like St. Kevin and his Blackbird,
I cannot recall the river’s name.

Comment: I love the reality of the river, its impressionist style of flowing water, impossible without the enormous presence of Claude Monet and his portraits of the Seine. However, what makes the mural, for me, is the brutal reality that breaks into the painting’s unreality. The boards covering the interior wall, the hand rail blended into the painting, the skirting board, the electric socket. I also like the intertextuality: art speaking to poetry, poetry replying to art, the links to Heraclitus, poetry speaking to poetry, the anonymity of the river, and the further poetic links to Robert Browning and Seamus Heaney. I often wonder if readers and viewers pick these things up. Or do they just speed-read, link to their own experiences, and move on with no further thought? You tell me. But what I will tell you is that artists reaches out to art, poets extend their hands to poetry, and our world is an inter-connected maze of thoughts and ideas, linking and unlinking, occurring and re-occurring, lapping like an incoming tide at the fingers and toes we immerse in those amniotic waters, often so long-forgotten, in which our creativity is berthed and from which it is born.

2 thoughts on “Heraclitus

  1. The poem is a great companion to the mural. Chuck

    On Wed., Dec. 23, 2020, 2:04 p.m. rogermoorepoet, wrote:

    > rogermoorepoet posted: ” Geoff Slater’s mural at McAdam Railway Station. > ‘You cannot step in the same river twice.’ Heraclitus. Heraclitus Nothing > will ever beas it was before.Time, like water,like these people > marching,constantly flows,trickling through my fingers,uncatch” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Chuck. It’s also a commentary on the nature of creativity, how it sops and starts, how it flows, yet, even as it flows, we can never step into the same poem twice. It is always changing, as we are changing. Antonio Machado sums this up very well in his introduction to his own Obras Completas.

      Like

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