dVerse host Victoria Slotto has offered some excellent words concerning the use of images in poems, and the way these images can offer the reader a message or new perspective. In the following poem I . . . well, the following poem is an attempt at something or the other. (This is based on a passage in an essay by Wendell Berry called "The Rise.") It would be nice if you could join in with a poem of your own!
The black water rising, bold with recent
rains, extended beyond its normal reach,
lifting every loose thing: leaves and fallen
limbs, a poorly-built dock, beer cans
from weekenders, turned soil from newly
plowed fields. Swollen up to the bottom
branches of the overhanging trees,
it moved the chirping birds further toward
the heavy sky where they sing, anyway.
Toward night the fisherman put in, needing
to gather up his final lines
of the day, careful yet unafraid
of his old flowing friend. He leaned
and grabbed a line, droplets of water
falling like life's-blood into the current. A heavy
line this one. The braced foot slipped. Carried away
from the bank, away from the noise of water
breaking, into the unhindered channel,
he cried out. For hours he passed
the unconcerned herons, and families
in their riverfront houses heard him howl
as he went by unseen, not knowing
what to make of it.