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There was Once a River

Updated: Mar 23, 2019

By Serap Brown/ 19 February 2019

In memory of precious waters that used to flow and bring life and beauty. I would like to dedicate my poem, There was Once a River, to Water on the World Water Day.


There was Once a River


I am in a library, at the center of Guadalajara,

Waiting for the presentation, “Becoming Water”,

I feel the trucks passing by,

Shaking the concrete building,

Big trucks, on the asphalt road,

Which was once a river,

Now all buried underground.


Across the road from the library,

Is the park called “Blue Water”,

Is that what’s left behind?

From the waters of the river.

“So, where is the river?”

The asphalt intersection

was once the confluence of two rivers,

I feel the trucks passing by.


River at Guadalajara is now buried,

The developed city needed space.

For the industry, for the waste.

It is hard to shrug my shoulders,

Knowing that the river is still flowing here,

Under the asphalt, below the city,

In pipes, in darkness, forced

To carry away what we call sewage,

The burden of humans.


No river shall carry any sewage!

No river shall take our burden!

Rivers need to carry oxygen.


I am in the library,

Feeling the trucks go by,

On the road once a river.

I think of the “Blue Water” park,

And wonder why it got its name.


Note: There are rivers buried underground in many cities covered with asphalt and concrete, all around the world and silenced. I wrote this poem during my attendance to the program "Being Water" in Guadalajara, and knowing many other flowing waters covered in the world including the ones in Istanbul and Victoria, B.C.

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