The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

The River
By Kathleen Raine

In my first sleep
I came to the river
And looked down
Through the clear water -
Only in dream
Water so pure,
Laced and undulant
Lines of flow
On its rocky bed
Water of life
Streaming for ever.

A house was there
Beside the river
And I, arrived,
An expected guest
About to explore
Old gardens and libraries -
But the car was waiting
To drive me away.

One last look
Into that bright stream -
Trout there were
And clear on the bottom
Monster form
Of the great crayfish
That crawls to the moon.
On its rocky bed
Living water
In whorls and ripples
Flowing unbended.

There was the car
To drive me away.
We crossed the river
Of living water -
I might not stay,
But must return
By the road too short
To the waiting day.

In my second dream
Pure I was and free
By the rapid stream,
My crystal house the sky,
The pure crystalline sky.

Into the stream I flung
A bottle of clear glass
That twirled and tossed and spun
In the water's race
Flashing the morning sun.

Down that swift river
I saw it borne away,
My empty crystal form,
Exultant saw it caught
Into the current's spin,
The flashing water's run.


I committed the ultimate act of cruelty on this beautiful, cool Wednesday, when apart from an evening thunderstorm, the weather could not have been more beautiful. I took my cats to the vet. Daisy did not actually need a checkup or any shots, but I figured we'd take her along to make sure her paperwork was in order in case she needs to be around other cats; Rosie and Cinnamon both needed their rabies shots and yearly check-ups, since they're both considered senior cats. The only thing more pathetic than the chorus of mewling in the van was the frantic yowling when the vicious vet did things like weighing the cats, examining their teeth and looking into their ears with the Ear Examination Instrument of Torture. Not to mention the Stethescope of Suffering and the Eye Dilation of Doom. The kids were quite bemused by the levels of hysteria -- they were much better behaved for their shots, and didn't hiss at anyone.

Rosie faces the horror of the scale. She doesn't care that at nearly 15 pounds, she is considered overweight, only that she has to stay still.

Cinnamon, who had to be dumped out of her cat carrier when she refused to unhook her claws, spent the entire time with her back arched.

After the horror of her exam, Rosie went and hid behind my purse...

...while Cinnamon tried to escape the inevitable by huddling near the carriers.

They were quickly joined by a friend...

...who couldn't figure out what all the panic was about, as she didn't have to get shots or anything!

And the recuperating cats did not even get to see this lovely sight...

...the after-dinner post-storm rainbow visible not only in my neighborhood but all around the DC area.

We had dinner with my parents, whose wedding anniversary it is, and who are going back to New York to see my uncle who is still in the hospital. Then we had a quiet evening watching Star Trek, baseball, and some footage from Tim Russert's funeral, which was oddly very inspiring and upbeat...he was a man with a lot of life to share. I was amused to read that Angels & Demons won't be allowed to film in the churches of Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria because the film "does not conform to our views," according to the Church. Oh, and I'm laughing so much that Joan Rivers got thrown off a British TV show for using the F word to insult Russell Crowe! I can so see her sticking a microphone in his face to ask who designed his suit, and him telling her to piss off in more polite terms than she used about him. And now she's milking the publicity, which is more than she's had in years for anything but her facelifts!

Hope everyone in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri is all right...those photos of the levees overflowing are very scary.

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