Poetry Contest

First Place

 

The One Great River

 

By: Bliss Green-Morehead

Senior, East Mecklenburg High School

 

 

At first,

religion was
the only river.

As deep
and overwhelming
as a chasm in the earth

Everlasting
with boundless banks
and commanding currents

The river ran like blood
through the veins
of the people.

It was what they knew –
it was all they knew
it was their life.

But the river was not perfect
and there were some places
it did not reach

There were some places
where the people had to
venture on foot

And some places
where the water morphed
into something grey and clouded

And sometimes the path
grew twisted like
an old thorny vine.

So some people
found another
way to travel

Science was
the second
river.

Its clear blue water
sparkled enticingly
in the sun

The current was steady –
but not as prevailing
as the first

Some people journeyed along the river
to fertile lands and places
they never knew existed

Through the decades,
the people dug
the river basin deeper

The river grew with the people’s
insatiable thirst for the experience
of foreign lands and ideas

Eventually,
the second river
surpassed the first.

It’s banks stretched as far as
the eye could see, and its currents
danced smoothly and swiftly

But the new river could never replace
old one, because there were places that
it still did not go.

So all of the people used both rivers –
some use one
more than another

But from the two, the people created one great river
and called it knowledge, from which they quenched
their thirst for awareness and understanding.

So, for what one river lacked
they found in the path
of another.