Where Everything Flows

a free verse poem for riparian: the banks of our love

Samantha Wallen
2 min readApr 28, 2022


Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

i notice this pattern of rising and falling
up one day, down the next as if i am tidal

yesterday welcoming the tiny red spider
skittering across the kitchen table
today wanting to kill it

yesterday’s outrush of words
is today’s inrush of nothing to say

maybe it is the way i was named
incorrectly in a story about a dying lake

maybe it is the suicide note she left
that said, ‘i could not solidify myself’

maybe it is how my child showed me
that out beyond male and female
there’s an ocean and sometimes
taking a piece of yourself away
makes you more whole

for so many years i have sought refuge
in thin atmospheres of stability

Greek philosopher Heraclitus used the term:
panta rhea — ‘everything flows’ to explain existence

two and a half thousand years later
botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer, describes
the ‘grammar of animacy’ running through
the Potawatomi language — the word ‘bay’
is not a noun, not something fixed, but a verb —
wiikwegamaa is ‘to be a bay’

sometimes i write myself
into the space of what i no longer mean

maybe i am bay
choosing to shelter between shores
undulating with eelgrass, pods of pelicans
circulatory and breaking the dead shells
of yesterday

like bay, today i could become
stream, ocean, waterfall and slip through
all tidy definitions

coming to be and departing
is the pattern of a planet streaked with hurt
where everything is alive
and always moving

To read the previous poem in the series, click HERE.
To read the next poem in the series click HERE.

This poem is one in a series, Riparian: the banks of our love, a poetic collaboration for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) with Samantha Wallen and Michelle Puckett.

Samantha Wallen, MFA is a poet, writer, writing guide & book coach who offers writing circles, workshops, community writing programs, private mentoring, and retreats for writers & want-to-be writers. Her work on and off the page seeks to restore the soul of our world one word at a time.



Samantha Wallen

Poet, writer, writing & book coach — Seeking to restore the soul of our world one word at a time…