River, Stream, Brook, Mind

Spirit First is an organization devoted to meditation and harmonious living. My poem "River, Stream, Brook, Mind" won their Editor's Choice Award in 2014 and appeared in their publication “Moments of the Soul: Winning Poems on Meditation, Mindfulness, Silence and Stillness". 

It was later reprinted, with my permission, by Lilipoh, the national magazine of Waldorf Schools. It will appear again in an anthology of collected Spirit First winning poems coming out in 2019.


Read it here:


Meditation, it’s like getting in a canoe. So wobbly, at first.

No idea how to navigate,

no idea how to survive a meeting with an iceberg,

a tumble over Niagara Falls,

the free-fall of the mind,

the winding river, the unpredictable waves.

Breathe, says the master. Don’t hold your breath.

But I find myself tightening my life-vest, and clinging to the sides.

Take it all as it comes, says the master, the twists, the turns,

the scraping of the hull,

the long portage,

the doldrums and the rapids.

But I keep hitting rocks, I say.

Get rid of the paddle, says the master.

And when I finally do, I float,

buoyant as a plover,

high above the little creek I used to call my head.

Published by

Gabriella Brand

Gabriella Brand is a writer, adventurer, and educational consultant. She can't stop teaching and learning foreign languages. She would like to walk on all the continents (three more to go!). Her husband is extremely patient and her children are, fortunately, all grown up.

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