• Luke Frederick

Rivers of Blood

There’s a river of blood flowing.

Wade in it. Wade deep.

Feel its bloody flow ripple through your fingers.

Bathe in its dark ebony stream.

Hear the waves echo a wailing, every crash sounding a scream,

A harmony of cries weaving between the islands of flesh and bones, eroding, sinking deep below the surface.

See the tide sweep in a fresh pool of crimson tears, soaking into your skin, flooding your veins.

Feel the violent pull downstream, to its mouth, speaking pollution into its riverbed, a toxic ground on which you must tread.

See the young ones brought down,

They were born by the river, baptised in its flow,

Their first words but a gurgle, a gasp for air,

Their mouths adapt to its metallic taste, bitterly swallowing it down, drowning the soul.

See their faces, beaten black and blue by its stream.

See the banks, how they never overflow, too high to submerge.

No matter how rough this river runs, no matter its heights,

It will never be enough

See them stand on the banks, moulded into its structure.

Planted firm, safe, uncaptured by the raging valley, they overlook.

Their stains are covered, their hands washed.

See them bleed out their poison, pouring into the stream, leaking endlessly through generations,

Feeding that bloody thirst.

Look up.

View the passage, its solid foundation.

Witness its construction, its building through time.

See the scarred hands that laid the first stones.

A bridge over this troubled water.

Unmovable, unshaken,


There’s a river of blood flowing.

Wade in it. Wade deeper.

Feel the strength of its current pull you into its abyss.

Hear it whisper,

“I can’t breathe.”

By Luke Frederick