Thursday, September 8, 2016

poetry class at the schuylkill river in pottstown, montgomery county-- & a late summer collaborative river poem.

in early september, my traveling poetry class joined the schuylkill river's pottstown section again, in the nice, hidden away spot which we discovered in july. and this time, we were glad to have barbara tucker there since she wasn't able to be with us during the previous outing to this particular location.

while there, we talked through edits of our writings from the mont clare, montgomery county, section of the schuylkill river when we visited there in mid-august.

below are scenes of our pottstown waterway-times from this month and the final draft which we prepared together across three voices in a collaborative river poem.

river writing, mid-august 2016

Collaborative River Poem by Sam Traten, Jennifer Hetrick, & Barbara Tucker

Sam: Ah, we're back—
A steel town's river and
the canal that brought
coal from upriver collieries to
fuel blast furnaces

Jen: barbara’s feet caked lightly in mud,
now dry, sam introduces us to caviar on rice
crackers as we sit in camping chairs

spying a great blue heron
slow-prancing in duckweed
under an island, home to one
wavy-branched willow tree

Barbara: lazing on a stone-strewn bank,
the muddy big water flow
southeast toward the atlantic ocean

as we watch & talk, talk & watch,
remembering other times & places

S. Plants closed now,
converted into condos,
—nightlife and art galleries
alive with young lovers

B. we make toasts, pink moscato
to all, to the baby blueness
and fluffed up whiteness of sky's clouds looming
over the tall, straight, many-colored trees

J. an unmoving rope swing suspended high
from the shore across from our poetry-writing
selves—when we are brewing in our conversations,
the great blue heron we could hardly stop gazing
at earlier is yards away from us, sniffing out our

little jar of caviar

B. without us noticing, mr. big heron pops up
next to us before taking wing, and with dynamic
precision, swoops right onto the other side of the water,
lands, grooms his feathers, and i whistle

J. attempting to photograph the winged
one fast enough, midflight, over this
pushing surface, under this august sun

S. herons stalk minnows in
shallows here for millennia,
and nothing is changed

B. i can't help it, i really can't help myself
& the deep feeling of wanting to touch him
& hold him or just be known to him

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