Beyond the Riverbend

Dedicated to Katrina Moir
January 1, 2005

Beyond the Riverbend

I've spent a decade seeking a good friend,
But never sailed beyond the riverbend.
I paddled on and on — but all in vain...
The journey often seemed to be my bane.

I always bumped into some hidden wall
And couldn't reach any important goal.
I tried all means and ways to move ahead,
But the uncanny river simply would not let.

I never knew what lay in wait for me,
Nor if some day I'd finally be free.
All I could do was stay afloat and hope
That all my problems soon would be resolved.

I kept on sailing forth, down the river,
And on the way I met a working beaver.
He was engaged in building a new shed
To keep the rubbish off the riverbed.

At first, it seemed, he hadn't spotted me,
Then raised his head from underneath a tree.
I slid along the bank, towards the beaver,
And saw a shaft of light deep in the river.

His eyes looked into mine and then away...
I asked if I could pass — he did not say.
I tried again, and he glanced back at me.
He showed something, but I could not see.

A moment passed... The beaver spoke to me,
"I know well what you have come to see.
I've waited for you many days and nights,
Wistfully gazing at the northern lights.

In search of friendship, are you not?
But in return what have you brought?
What have you here that I'd want?
A thing, of which I'm truly fond?

You have to give me something, too,
Or else, I will be thwarting you!
Unless you can indulge my nature...
So much for your courageous venture!"

I was repeating in my head
The nasty things that he had said.
He didn't seem to have been joking —
His way of asking was revolting!

I was perplexed by his strange offer —
I didn't know what to proffer.
I was befuddled and confused,
But suddenly... I felt so soothed.

I sensed the light that had emerged...
The light, for which I'd always searched.
I raised my eyes and looked around,
And I was stunned by what I found...

The world no longer was so dreary;
The scenery — so dull and eerie.
I gathered up my breath and spoke,
"I think, I finally awoke..."

I can't believe that all this time
My heart was covered up with rime...
I sought for peace and understanding,
And now my soul was quickly mending.

I cast my eyes upon the beaver,
And what I saw gave me a shiver...
The dusk had yielded to the dawn —
The beaver turned into a swan.

I rubbed my eyes and gazed at him,
The lights, however, still were dim.
Yet, I could see the stately swan
And the new morning being born.

The sun was rising up anew,
The grass was damp with tender dew.
The river looked tranquil and clear,
As does a truly wistful tear.

The swan had swum around me twice,
Examining my baffled eyes.
It felt like a bizarre séance —
It almost put me in a trance.

"Look closely, bewildered stranger,
And fear not — there is no danger.
You've met me somewhere before.
Your memories you must restore."

The voice was wonderfully charming;
The look — enticing, but alarming.
I eyed the swan in growing wonder,
And then was struck, as if by thunder.

The face is not completely new...
"My God... Katrina... Is it you?
Is that your voice that I have heard?
How can you be this gorgeous bird?"

"I've always been this lovely swan;
The problem was the mask you'd worn:
It blinded and tormented you,
But now you've beheld what's true!

Sometimes the truth is hard to see,
And often people choose to flee.
But those who have stayed and fought
Have always found what they sought.

You needn't search and wander more,
For this place offers friends galore.
Release your mind from the debris!
The friendship you have found in me."

The swan pronounced this and beamed,
The sun above her also gleamed:
For two had just become good friends,
And this is where the river bends.