Ode to Water
Speak to me of perpetual motion
In an ocean
Or lying in a still pond’s peace
Belying your invisible constant
Inevitable rising to another self
Reflected in your glassy surface below
You are your own mirror
White or gray, cool amid the blue
Like a rounded mass of cotton balls
Or a wispy milkweed seed
You travel in quiet towering majesty
Casting your shadow across mountains
Movement is your voice
Your music a rush
Whisper or a patter
A gurgling trickle or
‘Bloop’ of a thrown stone
Lying silent in a bright white blanket
Sparkling in the sun
Glittering in the moonlight
Shining stalactites hanging
The pond’s hard shell
Falling from the sky
Over a cliff
Running tirelessly downhill
Dripping wet from the leaves
Rising in your chill gray cloak
Wears a trench in solid rock
Carries the mountains
Grain by grain to the sea
Inhaled, drunk, pumped, passed
Through lungs, mouths, hearts, bodies
Home to fish and sundry
Carrier of boats
Holder of secrets
The beauty and awe
Of your myriad faces
Inspire and frighten, soothe and kill
Like the Almighty, everyone and no one
Knows you, and you are in everyone
Speak to me
Of your everything-ness
The great grand circle of you
Show me what it is to be
Water is essential to life as we know it. We are made mostly of water: that is why there is water wherever we go.
There has always been the same amount of water on earth, they say. There is never any more or any less. It just keeps moving in a grand circle, evaporating and forming clouds of vapor, falling as rain, snow, sleet or hail from the sky and then running downhill, always seeking the lowest point it can reach.
Water is very corrosive. Water is more powerful than a mountain because it can move that mountain into the sea. Water can eat through anything. Why does your water heater leak? Because water ate through the water heater's glass lining.
Both a giver and taker of life, water is both loved and feared. Water is simultaneously flying, rising, falling, running and standing still. Though it is made of a simple molecule, it's forms are many and complex. We think we know water, yet it surprises us again and again.
Water is not only the basis of life, it is a metaphor for life.
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