Bang on the River

You were told by your dying father to go bang on the river

The delirium of his words, the way you held his hand

And held it through autumn, through his passing

‘Til winter overlaid his grave as the first cold clime

laid siege to the water’s current, when you reached

in and broke away a piece of the river, its weight a ghetto

of sadness, how you raised it in your arms, above your head,

the force with which you brought it down, ice upon ice,

the cry of your father’s voice in its shattering.

Ken Holland in Lyon, France on a low stone wall with a fountain directly behind me in which
there's a sculpture of outsized horses in full and fierce gallop...while I
of course am trying to strike a pose that never ever looks natural.

Ken Holland has had work widely published in such journals as Rattle, Tulane Review, Southwest Review, and Tar River Poetry. He was awarded first place in the 2022 New Ohio Review poetry contest, judged by Kim Addonizio, and was a finalist in the 2022 Lascaux Prize in Poetry. His book length manuscript, Summer of the Gods, was a semi-finalist in the 2022 Able Muse book competition as well as Word Work’s 2022 Washington Prize. He’s been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York. More by visiting his website: