By the River

By the River March 6, 2023

A weary soul kneels by the river,

plunging his hands in despair.

Miles away, another kneels to

wash her sorrows.


Without ever knowing, they give

to each other, the way electricity

illumines two bulbs that think

they are the only light.


Love works this way: a river that

helps each other rise, a charge

that makes each other glow.

The web of kinship is as vast as

the cries of constellations across

the dark.


And the dreams we choose from

shimmer like stars in an inward

sky. They wait for the frightened

thing in us to wake, that we might

bring them into the world.


From The Half-Life of Angels: Three Books of Poems by Mark Nepo



APRIL 13: A free publication reading and conversation by Mark Nepo, to celebrate the publication of, The Half-Life of Angels: Three Books of Poems at the Kalamazoo College Library, Hicks Center, 7-9PM

For info on Mark’s upcoming events, visit:

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