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Ode to Water

Updated on August 10, 2012
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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

Your persistence
Penetrates everything
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
Essential

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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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    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 4 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Water is truly powerful and miraculous. This is such a beautiful poem. Love it!

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Tom,

      Truly powerful hub just like the water you described. Yes, giver and taker of life, water is very much part of both the gentle and furious part of Nature. So unpredictable yet an essential part of our life. Wonderful hub. I thought I would share it but not able to see the 'share' and the 'Pin' buttons on this page. Cheers, Rema.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 4 years ago from Georgia

      I enjoyed the word choice and imagery in this poem. It fully covered the subject of water but with great emotion. I voted this up and beautiful!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      This was well written, everything was in order, as water should be. Jamie

    • remaniki profile image

      Rema T V 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      I shared the hub just now and pinned it too. Cheers, Rema.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Beautiful ode to water! Enjoyed reading it, and love the pictures.... Awesome!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      I love these comments! So varied - like the faces of water. As you can tell, I love water very much. It is always doing something and so often I hear some sound of water - drip, whoosh, trickle, roar, gush - just in my daily travels.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Wonderful ode to the basis of our lives. We depend on water for everything, yet take it for granted. Up!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

      Lovely piece of word-smithing, Tom, and wonderful artwork, too. You certainly put together a total experience with/for your poetry.

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 4 years ago

      Beautiful poem and photos, well done :) voted up and awesome

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Xstatic!

      Thanks, RedElf! Been a long time. Great to see you!

      Thanks, Gypsy!

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 4 years ago from Florida

      Tom Rubenoff...Water..our life starts in Water...and it is one of the most relaxing sounds and submersing our body relieves stress...I have always been as one with water...We can't live without it...there's nothing like sitting in the pool with a cold glass of water to drink...loved the metaphor...loved the hub..

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      Water: so common and yet so precious, a simple thing of a thousand paradoxes. Thank you, KJ!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The pictures are beautiful. Your artwork is spectacular! Your ode to water is great. There's nothing more mesmerizing than watching a waterfall and the ocean tide come in. Thank you again...

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you so much, Ruby. It is hard to find a better place to meditate than beside moving water.

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      Wow! Well-written and quite deep! I loved this Ode to Water. We need to cherish it and protect it, that's for sure.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you, Yoginijoy! Water is essential to life as we know it. It is essential to us.

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      I really enjoyed this. This stanza

      "Your persistence

      Penetrates everything

      Wears a trench in solid rock

      Carries the mountains

      Grain by grain to the sea "

      was especially wonderful. Good work!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      Thank you, PDX. :)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Oh my goodness. You have described an element that has fascinated me for all of my life and still does.

      Lovely, lovely hub.

      Thank you.

      Ian

    • Tom Rubenoff profile image
      Author

      Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States

      I'm so glad you enjoyed my ode to this simple and ubiquitous, yet wonderful thing. Still water remains one of my favorite photographic subjects, as it both reflects and transforms the image of its surroundings. Thanks again.

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