Archive for the ‘A Poem to Kayak By’ Category



Ten thousand years these waters reign
they’ve ruled with ebb and flow
Thus watching I this history
might learn what rivers know…

When in its youth on mountain high
this river merely stream
Trickled past majestic pines
and dreamt a river’s dream…

Thus unto such it so became
with currents raging wide
Daring those who stood its banks
cross over its divide…

Soon came the day when bridges spanned
then homes and factories built
On farms nearby the crops grew tall
from tasting riven silt…

Man tried his best with towering dam
to bid this river wait
Though even he with clever plan
could alter not its’ fate…

This river runs where it must go
by light of day or moon
As Mother Sea herself recalls
this child to her womb…

How deep this bond in nature is
that river knows its task
What faith this river finally yields
’til returns at last…

To brine and tides and salted waves
until such time as came
The skies would raise these waters up
and send them back as rain…

So when these drops return to Earth
on mountain tops below
From trickling stream then once again
would mighty river flow…

Life cycles all and wastes not self
for ‘naught is ever lost
Not falling leaf nor lowly worm
not mist, nor dust nor frost…

Reclaimed are all and made anew
from that from which it came
Do you believe that by design
you’re somehow not the same?

Like waters we… this river are
compelled through life to seek
The promise we shall yet return
to dwell in nature’s keep

This poem was given to me today by a dear friend, Ralph Shrewsbury.   Ralph has been after me for years to write a book about my kayaking adventures.   When I retire I always say..

I’ve looked for W.C. Lyons and this poem to see if I could find something about the poets’ background.  The only thing I see is in 1862 a W.C Lyons was given authority to collect tolls for 20 years on a bridge crossing the American River in California.  Could he be the originator of this poem?  I can imagine that someone who spent 20 years of their life collecting tolls on a bridge had plenty of time to write a poem like this.  Well done W.C. Lyons!


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