Greetings from the bunker on Crosby Road where I hunker down drinking coffee, writing and listening to a message on Youtube. Well, bunker’s admittedly a bit dramatic. But I am aware that for many many people this is a very difficult time of financial insecurity, social isolation, confinement and fear.

My intent in writing is always to encourage and offer hope so this poetic offering may seem a bit off to some of you. I wrote the following poem at a writers’ seminar when the instructor gave each of us a visual prompt – mine being a salmon leaping in a river. And, of course, the end of that arduous journey is death for the salmon.

I did lose a very dear friend this week – a friend whose physical and spiritual life were very much centered around a river – and though I have no doubt we will meet again, the loss is real and painful. The more so as I cannot get together with mutual friends and share our memories, grief and consolation. And I know for her family (who loved her dearly) so much more so. Fortunately the Holy Spirit is in no way limited by quarantine or lockdown but is able to reach people wherever there is a need for his grace and comfort.



There is higher ground to gain
and a purpose to my pain.
There is an end to this hard task,
and quiet pools in which to bask – upstream.

It seems sometimes a futile fight
against the foe, this constant flight.
But for now I only know
a growing urgent need to go – upstream.

For there’s a voice that urges on
when my resolve and strength are gone,
and deep within a powerful force
compels me to complete my course – upstream.

So, on through danger, fear disdained,
the ground that bears my name I’ve gained.
Seed sown, I spent and bloodied lie.
The race secured, I live not die – upstream.

If you listen to the end of this, it moves into Down to the River to Pray. We can’t get together to celebrate her life. This is my small tribute to a life well lived.

One thought on “Upstream

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