Art and poetry on page and stage

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Ruth Padel


It is unlike anything else. Wild swimming,
the nub of selves meeting, conflux
of two rivers, the dark and gold,
Rio Negro and Rio Solimões in Brazil.

The kiss. Nerve-ends
twisting together underground.
Each name touched and forgotten
in a time-really-can-stand-still

that makes us shiver. No more Durga,
We are a quest to the interior, a whole
shaman’s journey in ourselves.

Any what-do-you-think-of-me’s
dissolve in each other’s dark.
A promise that may never be fulfilled
but is complete, each moment, in itself.

RUTH PADEL is an award-winning British poet and writer. Professor of Poetry at King’s College London.