River River Journal is published twice yearly, featuring poetry, prose, and translations in English, as well as images from contributors around the world. Visit River River Writers Circle on Meetup for our schedule of literary events for writers and readers in the heart of the Hudson Valley. We are a nonprofit, local arts and community organization.
One night I wandered alone from my comrades’ huts; The grasshoppers chirped softly In the warm misty evening; Bracken fronds beckoned from the darkness With exquisite frail green fingers; The tree gods muttered affectionately about me, And from the distance came the grumble of a kindly train.
I was so happy to be alone, So full of love for the great speechless earth, That I could have laid my cheek in the wet grasses And caressed with my lips the hard sinewy body Of Earth, the cherishing mistress of bitter lovers.
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Notes on the prompt
We’ve all heard, talked, and read a lot about isolation in recent months on social media and in mainstream circles; about disconnection; about how much we miss the bustle of society and constant contact. The flip side of this, which only gets mentioned occasionally and with a strong sense of guilt, is that we’ve all experienced solitude in the positive sense far more frequently also: the vibrant hush of a moment in the natural world, the moment of nesting into self that can’t fully happen during an hourlong commute. This somewhat sentimental poem seemed to be about one such secret revel in solitude, a moment in which we “bitter lovers” of the world can let down our guard.
I was surprised to find that a search of the term “hunger” offers up 31 pages of poetry and discussion on poets.org. Skimming the results, I’m reminded that hunger might be a call for social justice from inmates and teachers; it might portray emotional starvation. It’s a frequent word in recent headlines as Covid-19 disrupts supply lines. And I’m also reminded that it can be fed and satisfied.
My dog thinks it’s a chipmunk, and it drives her bonkers. But my uncle used to say it was a copperhead. Might it be a basilisk? Who knows? Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).
In the Northern Hemisphere, September’s full moon marks the harvest season. (Pumpkin spice rises again!) Grand and pervasive as the harvest season is, though, the September moon rises over countless settings more varied and intimate. Imagine the September moon’s-eye view. Use the prompt to inspire your work in any form (poetry or prose; fiction of any genre; creative nonfiction, essay, or memoir).