I hear your call!
I hear it far away;
I hear it break the circle of these crouching hills.
I want to view your face again and feel your cold embrace;
or at your brim to set myself and inhale your breath;
or like the trees, to watch my mirrored self unfold and span my days with song from the lips of dawn.
I hear your lapping call!
I hear it coming through; invoking the ghost of a child listening, where river birds hail your silver-surfaced flow.
My river’s calling too!
Its ceaseless flow impels my found’ring canoe down its inevitable course.
And each dying year brings near the sea-bird call, the final call that stills the crested waves and breaks in two the curtain of silence of my upturned canoe.
O incomprehensible God!
Shall my pilot be my inborn stars to that final call to Thee.
O my river’s complex course?
4 thoughts on “The Call of the River Nun”
This is beautiful
My understanding is that this was one of the early poems that first made Okara’s name.
That is wonderful to know. I am most grateful to you for featuring poets and their work which would otherwise have remained unknown to me.
Thank you so much. This blog began as a vanity project but quickly grew into an amazing journey of discovery, as I learned just how much poetry across the world (and across time) I didn’t know. Next year, I’ll add five more national origins to the 30 currently represented on the blog.