Going back to the river

Hi everyone,

Today I plan to add a few more paragraphs to my autobiography, a rather tedious work in progress with no end and no publisher yet in sight. Throughout my career I’ve published poems inspired by my own experiences growing up (we all do that), and on two previous occasions I’ve published collections of poems about various recollections. This one is in prose and includes much more about my life.

THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS was meant to share the musings of an introspective boy as he explored the world he lived in.

A Chip of Flint

See this?
Too thin
for an arrowhead.

Maybe a chip
from the weapon
being made
by a master craftsman,
flint in one hand
antler tip in the other,
strong wrists
fashioning
a new stone point.

Did he pause
in these woods
silent	alone
or was he surrounded
by chuckling comrades
who winked at secrets
as flint chips fell?

It doesn't matter
the chip was rejected
by the arrowhead.

I accept it
as a gift
from an unknown hand.
~ (c) 1988 David L. Harrison

CONNECTING DOTS invited the reader to connect the dots of my memories to form a clearer picture of how my life was shaped to become who I am.

I’m 15. My collections now fill one room in our house. The years of field trips and chance discoveries are adding up.

THE COLLECTOR

Mothballs?
Yes, that’s what you smell –
over here in my insect case.
They keep the beetles
from eating my bugs.

That musty smell?
You must mean bird wings
pinned to the wall.
Stand back some,
they’re not so bad.

A few little smells don’t bother me.
They’re worth the price
of actually owning a rattlesnake skin,
a crow’s nest,
a red fox hide I tanned myself.

I touch my treasures,
their fragrances perfume my room.
Their stories live again,
their memories sweeter.
~ (c) 2004 David L. Harrison 

So now I'm returning for a third time to the river of my life. I started the project a couple of years ago, imagining it as a play, but I decided that not even close friends and family could willingly sit through such drudgery. In the end I started over and am writing it as a sequence of moments and incidents that seem to me to have contributed to the making of a man who turned out to be a literacy advocate and writer of books and poems for young people. The journey has been long. I promise to make the book shorter. 

8 comments on “Going back to the river

    • Hello, Gloria. Thank you for saying so. I hope I get this thing told one of these days. I have no idea about finding a publisher but will give it a good try.

  1. what lovely meditations these poems are, David, & I’m so reminded of reading about young Theo. Roosevelt & in one of the upstairs rooms in his folks’ NYC townhouse, his very own, very smelly natural history museum

    • Yes, I want to be known as the Rough Writer hence forward. Can you imagine my dear departed mum allowing such earthy odors to emanate from the upstairs bedroom on the east end?

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