Empress of the River

Empress of the River

By Ochuko Tonukari


I have come to thee this day

With my purity before me

And indeed I am your child,

The son of a priest in this temple

I have come that thou mayest protect me

From all things evil

If thy can’t, who else will?


Hail Mother of the River

Whose word is truth,

You are nature,

The universal Mother,

Mistress of all the elements,

Primordial nurturer of time,

Sovereign of all things divine

Beloved of the two lands,

favorite of all the gods,



I have pressed for thee

I am thy son, thy beloved

Spread thyself over me

Great lady, who didst become heaven

Thou didst become physically mighty,

Thou art become victorious,

Thou hast filled every place with thy beauty

The whole earth liest under thee;

Thou hast taken possession of it;

mayest thou establish this



Thou art the feminine hidden one

Somewhere in the primordial watery abyss

Thy art the sacred feminine archetype

a mermaid-like figure,

With a woman’s upper body

The hindquarters of a fish

Gorgeous tresses outright perpendicular

Curly black arranged straight back

Sequestered, Comb and mirror grip

Epic Halloween serpent, convoy

Cranium rested upon thou bosom



Swains abducted who swim by

Down the bottomless realms,

Exit, blue urban interior

Leave permission granted

Homecoming, dry-clothing adorn

Awash in spiritual rebirth

Dazzling in cornucopia plenitude


Some chanced upon thou throne

What consumest  thee, crouching,  titivating

Thou emerged from the woods

onto a vast open plain

Yearning for the fields of their youth

from thine side two rivers flowed,

The one winding,

the other straight, and left between

with less rivers intertwined,

Then meeting joined their tribute to the deep

Before thou lay many a smiling villages

Glittering in the embers of thy desires

Those were the rituals of fortunes

Who look astonished,

As thou fleest into the water

Thy possessions left behind

Would anyone dare to take?


Thou mayest  come in dreamtime

Asking for them in return

Desires exceeding possessions

Would he agree to thou sexual faithfulness?

Agreement, riches grants;

Refusal ill fortune brings

To them who magically re-enter the Great Time


Thou art the mother of the river

Whose worship is as diverse as thy initiates,

Priesthood worshippers of aquatic empress,

Wide parallels drawn

Dark angels of the church prophecies

Beckoning the grand secretary of the divine

Groups of people, who gather in thy name,

Veiled in red and white covering,

dual nature, symbolic


Thy hast the watery shaded Shrines

With bells, carvings, dolls, incense, spirits,

and remnants of previous sacrifices

Intense dancing accompanied musical instruments

Moving them to dance till they trance

Before the threshold of thy inner sanctuary

Have they offered thee gifts of delicious food and drink?

Thou favorite alcohol, jewelries and fragrant objects?


Today as Thou standst in this game of blame

Take the blast for the undertow

That takes many swimmers each year

But would thou take them in this mask?

In this guise of a beautiful,

Sexually promiscuous maiden

Prolific in art, fiction, poetry, music and film

Who doth Spurred the artists’ imagination

Tourists’ features of the river

Thou image adorned walls of their dwellings

With album covers cascading down the sea



Thou represents the earth-fertile soil,

and all the priestesses of the egborode pantheon

Where myths, rituals and legends meet

from nightscape to dreamscape

Could thou be the Supreme protectress of the ecosystem?

Since thou occupiest a central place

in our communal prayer and worship

So do not leave me far off there

As  I have proclaimed thy name

10 thoughts on “Empress of the River” by Ochuko Tonukari (@ochuko)

  1. Powerful descriptions of nature.

  2. You write good poems but they are usually too long… Keep writing though.

  3. Yeah long, but great work and words displayed.
    Hope you didn’t mean that?

    If thou can’t, who else will?

  4. u can make the poem shorter and still make ur message clear. d persona of this poem is so enraptured with d charm and power of a mermaid that he thinks she alone could do anyting! i dont think so. there are places THOU soppose to fit in. but u erroneously put THY. look again. well done

    1. Yes, you are correct. I had wanted to do the correction before anyone reads it, but I had already sent it for publication before then. Well, how I wish it is possible to add some of this suggestions even after publication. I think it would help. I expect someone to guide me in this regard.

  5. Lol. Great Expectations ehn? hmmm, When god of Fire come make you and your Water goddess no run o!

    1. The Olde English was clumsy.

  6. One comment… Be consistent. Isaw several ” thou arts” and some ” you ares”

  7. an example of good poetry

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