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    Roatar

Nashwaak and Saint John
Nashwaak and Saint John


when I no longer ply the Nashwaak
and the sun sets on the wood
there will arise a river god
deity of many faces
they will call him Roatar
River God of the Nashwaak

he will clutch and grab at you
Roatar the merciless river god
as his ranks of weaving alders
choke his narrow channels
tangle with your gunwales
down his winding thickets

he will lie in wait for you
Roatar the treacherous river god
on his tight blind turn
stretch his net of branches
on the sweeper leaning
into the churning current

he will mock you bitterly
Roatar the indignant river god
unleash headwinds unrelenting
laced with driving drizzle
to chill you to the marrow
and lash you to your paddle

he will welcome you openly
Roatar the forgiving river god
as you enter his shady pool
to bob gently in his blue eddy
behind the rocks he strewed
in your path through his rapids

he will hold you in his arms
Roatar the indulgent river god
show you his farm and forest
guide you through his village
send you on your way at last
down the Saint John to the sea

 Nanook of the Nashwaak
 Reach out and touch a rock

Saint John
Paddlers on the Saint John at sunset

River Poetry      The Bog of the Shogomoc
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