Posts Tagged ‘water’



Oh my dear Rosemerry, let’s remember how water is always moving & shining.

            —Sandra Dorr, private correspondence



And so though I am stone,

stuck and dull,

can’t move or shine,

I think of how a rock will skip

when it is round and flat,

how stone turns skiff

when thrown with spin

and speed and slant—

one flick of a wrist and I

can bounce, can hop,

can dap and for a brief time,


Oh life, pick me up,

give me a toss,

low and quick.

I’ll sink, but first

I’ll fly.



*readers–this poem has a little secret. can you tell what it is??

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Perhaps Next Time



Vast and powerful,

the invitation

like a sea

with a surf

and unknowable tides—


I do not want to stay

on the shores

of my life.

I want to run headlong

into the waves,

to feel myself buoyed

and challenged,

to know myself

as one who risks,

who emerges


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Swimming to the Island




I didn’t intend to swim to the island.

Told myself it was just a quick slip

into the water. Told myself I would

rejoin the others soon. But the water

said yes to me. And my arms and legs

seemed to remember then

exactly what they were made for.

Sometimes we’re in service to something

more primal, a voice that says go, go,

keep going, though there’s no race,

no finish line, no prize, no spectators,

nothing but the thrill of becoming

the body’s bright verb. Feel how

the water buoys you, even as your weight

pulls you down, how it shimmers as far as

a woman can swim, how with each

stroke of your dripping arms,

the lake christens you again and again

a child of this very here.



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for Sally



In these days, we don’t speak

of drought, we speak of water—

the impossible blue sea near Phuket

and the wide Colorado River.

We speak of turquoise and green

and aquamarine and you make water

with three hydrogen molecules.

We speak of the bull in India

that stored water on its back.

We speak of drinking black chia seeds

as they did in the desert.

We speak of the coming storm,

of floods, of the deluge,

the way water changes things.

It is no surprise that I think of you

as water—something pure, something

necessary, something true—

and in these days I choose

not to think of drought, I think

of turquoise, green and aquamarine

and wish it for you.



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Praise the summer, with its

endless drought. How you’d rather

revile it, change it, pray

for the world to be another way.

Praise the sky, relentlessly clear,

and the dry field that crunches

beneath your feet.

You dream of green, dream

of laughing in the rain, dream

of puddles and the thin river

rising. But praise the scarcity,

how it teaches you what

you would rather not know—

how fragile the balance,

how every drop matters,

how lucky it is

to grow.


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trickle in the desert—

it takes so little water

to make a song

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you, the traveler

thirsting in the desert

and me, the whisky

wishing I could be

your water

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Yes, if I am
the wind,
then let you
be the sail,
and if I am
the water,
let you be
the water, too.

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Three Rivulets

foolish woman
writing these poems
as if the word water
could quench a thirst
as if the word love

river of joy
river of sorrow
they become one water


for two billion years
the amount of water on earth
has remained the same
how to explain
all these tears

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Living by Water

If you dig deep enough
anywhere on this land
you will eventually hit water.
It is hard to believe this,
looking at the field with its tall grass
and mullein leaves and globes of salsify.

It is so human to want some proof,
to grab the shovel and dig up the earth
so that dirt covers the daisies, the grass.
Then they’re buried and dead, but at least
we know, our shovels wet, that it was true.

Sometimes I wish I had the scalpel
that could cut into to me to find you,
you the river who moves
through my life, clear and continuous,
immeasurable, surprising, unseen.

But what would it prove that I do
not already know: That we die
without water. That the field
is a good place to kneel, to pray.

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