Garden and Nature in Words

Stand and Stare

Riding on a tide

unsettled thoughts will crest high…

washing off the stain

The Yarra River near the bay

Ever find yourself at a river, creek, or pool, just staring at the waves and the body of water moving about as it does? This haiku (7-5-7) was inspired by my last trip to the Yarra river, Melbourne’s main waterway.

It is a wide brown river at the outlet, where it meets Port Phillip bay, so much different to the meandering stream that is born in the swamps of the Yarra Ranges, which runs off the Great Dividing Range.

The water has mellowed by the time it reaches the bay, it becomes brown and salty – the general advice is to never swim in it, having served the city of Melbourne long before modern residential sanitation and industrial waste management practices.

The sounds of water mix with those of the boats and ferries, and when you pay attention, cars and trucks from the city, carriage trains, construction, dogs barking, leaves rustling in the breeze.

Stare at the water for some time and your worries will drain away from you, wash out with the tide and leave you refreshed.

The ‘stain’ is that blot of thoughts that appear from time to time, generally unhelpful and non constructive. They wash away in the presence of the tide, and on some days the water is but a gentle lap. From some quiet place far away, where people can’t visit, it is fresh and clean and good.

Stand and stare.

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