>River Poems


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In the past two weeks, WEN taught a Words with Wings summer camp session where students learned about the history of the Clark Fork River. Then they reflected on what they had learned and wrote some wonderful poems! Read some selections below:

Kitty Galloway, WEN’s program coordinator (left) and Lynne Dickman  (middle)
from Ice Age Flood Institute teach river history to  Sheryl Noethe (right) and the
Words with Wings students
Bret Lunder
WHAT DOES A RIVER MEAN?
What does a river mean to me?
A river means life for fish, water
for ground, food for humans.
A river is what keeps the food chain
flowing.
Rivers are what give earth its beauty,
its light, its refreshment.
A river is the home for fish, otters,
snails, beavers, many animals.
Without the rivers, the earth would be
dry. Without rivers, there would be no way
for the osprey to find food, no way for beavers
to build their dam, no way for fish to swim.
Earth would be a dry ball of dirt, no grass,
no fish.
Life—that is what a river means to me
and to you.

Shelby Kinch
TETRACTY: THE RIVER
Clear
water
rushing on
bathing in the
warm sun, a home for glittering scales and
shimmering fins, a place for smoothed rocks.
The river with
the power
of a
horse
strong,
happy
to be free
dipping between
rocks, it gently swirls through time, welcoming.
On and on it flows until the sting of
salt burns its eyes.
Peace at last
ocean
home.

KoesslerTolleson Knee 
FLY POLE
Invisibility itself whips through the air
welded to a fly that is happy when bitten.
Green cord with a mind of its own
hooks onto invisibility’s tail
for a better view
of the monster with gills and fins
that might be dinner.
Fiberglass trees committed for life
to helping the fly and its procession
married to it by silver rings.
When the wheel stops turning
all wait
for a fish to fall
for the bait.

Meredith Walker
ODE TO THE CLARK FORK
On and on
rushing
on and on
splashing
on and on.
There is a river of power
that runs through Missoula.
Clark Fork is its name.
Home of the trout,
home of the waves,
home of the hearts
of its people.
Kayaking waves, so fun,
mostly manmade
but rapids required.
Cool and favorite haunt of dogs.
Peace, power,
and driftwood logs.
Origin of noise,
it always bustles.
Sandy, buggy, beaches.
Birds call, rushes rustle.
Preserved exoskeletons
and rocks galore,
waves lap against the shore
always changing more.

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