Poem for Mayor Rogero's 2017 State of the City Address


Indya Kincannon
[email protected]
(865) 215-2040

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

Last item for navigation
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email
RB Morris delivering a poem at State of the City Address
R.B. Morris delivering a poem as Knoxville Poet Laureate at Mayor Madeline Rogero's State of the City Address on April 28, 2017 at Suttree Landing Park. (Photo by Traci K. McDonell / City of Knoxville) 

Poem for Mayor Rogero's State of the City Address
by Poet Laureate R.B. Morris

Only now

Click here to listen to R.B. Morris read the poem [MP3]

Only now can I stand beside the river
And begin to see
Only now do I know the world is turning

RB Morris speaks at State of the CityIn the shadow of the city
In the bright air of the sun
We are turning

And look, it’s a new season
It’s way ahead of us

It’s as though someone left us here in a garden
And now it blossoms

And look, there’s a river
It comes 
It goes
It stays
It is endless in all directions

In an age of flash
In an age of fake
In the Great Age of Miscommunication
Who can stand where they are
And move forward like the river?

The river has no choice
And neither do we
We must flow
We must go forward 
Even as we stay where we are
Even as the world turns    

We are the urban wilderness
Lost and finding ourselves
Hear our cry
Hear our song
We sing to push the river along  

In the life of the river we are but a moment
We’re like flowers blossoming on the bank
Like trees with new leaves
We rise and fall 
Another season that comes and goes
While the river flows on   

What can we do but sing a river hymn
And tend this garden?

Only now can we do this
You can’t put your hand in the river 
In the same place twice
Or as a poet said, in the same place once
It moves, it goes even as it stays 
And so must we
These are our days to push the river 
To turn the world
Our season to stand where we are 
And move forward