Valley River by Ethel Mays


“Valley River” by Ethel Mays


See it running through fields of alfalfa and interloping wild oats,
chasing after the sound of tight gut strummed over exotic woods
crafted by the ones who know the music that must be played
for the heart disappearing into green turning to sun beaten gold,
valley floor the sacred anvil of the hammering sun, birds in flight
with the ghosts of childhood memories: legs browned by summer,
sweet fruit dripping juice licked up by thirsty tongues. Down
among the boulders of the river we found a snake going about the business
of slithering into and out of the edges of the stream. We let it go its way
seeing no need of capture for a classroom of squealing youngsters.
We found the devil’s darning needles recounted in bedtime stories
by the grandest people of all – our parents and theirs, dreaming
out loud what they heard by firesides and woodstoves, places
where proper meals were made, sparks flying up from logs
burned to embers, banked against the night fled into by souls
in search of everything lost, found in a single visit to the valley
hidden away amongst the shoulders of hills begging to be climbed;
behind them their cousins, the mountains, blue with rock and ice
and white with snows that nourish all the creeks and streams
that flow to make the one river we all come back to after all,
racing through the valley, searching, finding what was once lost
in the blink of ages.



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Ethel Mays Artist Statement: Ethel Mays is a full-time visual and literary artist from California’s Sierra Nevada foothills. A Seattle University graduate, her writing has been published in Canada, the U.S., and throughout her home state. She is an advocate of the humanities who views life from the perspective of a Renaissance woman who actively chooses to travel a road rich with artistic diversity and positive people.


Author: A Room of Her Own

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