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Sunday 2007-05-18

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Talk not of wasted affection, affection was never wasted,
If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters returning
Back to their springs, like the rain shall fill them full of refreshment;
That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.

Sunday 2007-05-11

Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching, chapter 8

The highest good is like water. Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive. It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.

From the Koran, 21:30

By means of water, we give life to everything.

Sunday 2007-05-04

From the Bhagavad Gita

Living creatures are nourished by food, and food is nourished by rain; rain itself is the water of life, which comes from selfless worship and service.

William Shakespeare

Glory is like a circle in the water,
Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself,
Till by broad spreading it disperses to naught.

Sunday 2007-04-27

Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, Ion

'Tis a little thing
To give a cup of water; yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drain'd by fever'd lips,
May give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarean juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.

Robert Fulghum

The grass is not, in fact, greener on the other side of the fence. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.

Sunday 2007-04-20

The Drink Sent Down From Truth — Yunus Emre

The drink sent down from Truth,
we drank it, glory be to God.
And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,
glory be to God.

Beyond those hills and oak woods,
beyond those vineyards and gardens,
we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.

We were dry, but we moistened.
We grew wings and became birds,
we married one another and flew,
glory be to God.

To whatever lands we came,
in whatever hearts, in all humanity,
we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,
glory be to God.

Come here, let's make peace,
let's not be strangers to one another.
We have saddled the horse
and trained it, glory be to God.

We became a trickle that grew into a river.
We took flight and drove into the sea,
and then we overflowed, glory be to God.

Sunday 2007-04-13

Meditation at Oyster River — Theodore Roethke

Over the low, barnacled, elephant-coloured rocks
Come the first tide ripples, moving, almost without sound, toward me,
Running along the narrow furrows of the shore, the rows of dead
Then a runnel behind me, creeping closer,
Alive with tiny striped fish, and young crabs climbing in and out of the
No sound from the bay. No violence.
Even the gulls quiet on the far rocks,
Silent, in the deepening light,
Their cat-mewing over,
Their child-wimpering.
At last one long undulant ripple,
Blue black from where I am sitting,
Makes almost a wave over a barrier of small stones,
Slapping lightly against a sunken log.
I dabble my toes in the brackish foam sliding forward,
Then retire to a rock higher up on the cliffside.
The wind slackens, light as a moth fanning a stone —
A twilight wind, light as a child’s breath,
Turning not a leaf, not a ripple.
The dew revives on the beach grass;
The salt-soaked wood of a fire crackles;
A fish raven turns on its perch (a dead tree in the river mouth),
Its wings catching a last glint of the reflected sunlight.

The self persists like a dying star,
In sleep, afraid. Death’s face rises afresh,
Among the shy beasts — the deer at the salt lick,
The doe, with its sloped shoulders, loping across the highway,
The young snake, poised in green leaves, waiting for its fly,
The hummingbird, whirring from quince blossom to morning-glory —
With these I would be.
And with water: the waves coming forward without cessation,
The waves, altered by sandbars, beds of kelp, miscellaneous driftwood,
Topped by cross-winds, tugged at by sinuous undercurrents,
The tide rustling in, sliding between the ridges of stone,
The tongues of water creeping in quietly.

In this hour,
In this first heaven of knowing,
The flesh takes on the pure poise of the spirit,
Acquires, for a time, the sandpiper’s insouciance,
The hummingbird’s surety, the kingfisher’s cunning.
I shift on my rock, and I think:
Of the first trembling of a Michigan brook in April.
Over a lip of stone, the tiny rivulet;
And the wrist-thick cascade tumbling from a cleft rock,
Its spray holding a double rainbow in the early morning,
Small enough to be taken in, embraced, by two arms;
Or the Tittabawasee, in the time between winter and spring,
When the ice melts along the edges in early afternoon
And the mid-channel begins cracking and heaving from the pressure beneath,
The ice piling high against the ironbound spiles,
Gleaming, freezing hard again, creaking at midnight,
And I long for the blast of dynamite,
The sudden sucking roar as the culvert loosens its debris of branches and
     sticks —
Welter of tin cans, pails, old birds’ nests, a child’s shoe riding a log—
As the piled ice breaks away from the battered spiles
And the whole river begins to move forward, its bridges shaking.

Now, in this waning of light,
I rock with the motion of morning;
In the cradle of all that is,
I’m lulled into half sleep
By the lapping of waves,
The cries of the sandpiper.
Water’s my will and my way,
And the spirit runs, intermittently,
In and out of the small waves,
Runs with the intrepid shore birds —
How graceful the small before danger!
In the first of the moon,
All’s a scattering,
A shining.

Sunday 2007-04-06

Peace — Sara Teasdale

Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea.

I am the pool of blue
That worships the vivid sky;
My hopes were heaven-high,
They are all fulfilled in you.

I am the pool of gold
When sunset burns and dies, —
You are my deepening skies,
Give me your stars to hold.

Chinook Indian Blessing

We call upon the waters that rim the earth,
horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers and streams,
that fall upon our gardens and fields,
and we ask that they teach us
and show us the way.

Sunday 2007-03-30

Theodore Roethke

I came where the river
Ran over stones;
My ears knew
An early joy.
And all the waters
Of all the streams
Sang in my veins
That summer day.

Sunday 2007-03-23

Oceans — Juan Ramón Jiménez

I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing.

And nothing
happens! Nothing... Silence.. Waves...
— Nothing happens? Or has everything happened
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?

Sunday 2007-03-16

Reflections on a Glass — M.R. Peacocke

I wanted to show you a glass
filled with a measure of water.
No history no irony
but the dailiness of a vessel, light
coming in blue coming in green
through a thickness of moulded glass
and thinness of water.
But how to show you not my face
in a quaking disc, not mystery,
parable, beaded glaze
of thirst or recollection? How to perceive
not a lens but a glass of water?
How to be plain enough to attend
to a thing in its naked presence?

Sunday 2007-03-09

Antonio Machado

Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives who labor
at night stopped, And the water
wheel of thought,
is it dry, the cups empty,
wheeling, carrying only shadows?

No! My soul is not asleep!
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
  its clear eyes open,
far off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.

Sunday 2007-03-02

Dorothy Walters

Each movement,
each quiet gesture
a rosary in the blood.
Was it desire
which brought her to this moment,
this arrival at source,
or was it merely a need
to be still, to be richly fed
from this fountain
of dark silence.

George Macdonald

There is no water in oxygen, no water in hydrogen: it comes bubbling fresh from the imagination of the living God, rushing from under the great white throne of the glacier. The very thought of it makes one gasp with an elemental joy no metaphysician can analyse. The water itself, that dances, and sings, and slakes the wonderful thirst — symbol and picture of that draught for which the woman of Samaria made her prayer to Jesus — this lovely thing itself, whose very wetness is a delight to every inch of the human body in its embrace — this live thing which, if I might, I would have running through my room, yea, babbling along my table — this water is its own self its own truth, and is therein a truth of God.

Sunday 2007-02-24

Ecclesiastes 1:7 — from New International Version of The Bible

All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.

Psalm 42:7-8 — from New International Version of The Bible

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me.

Sunday 2007-02-17

Kahil Gibran

The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Last Night As I was Sleeping — Antonio Machado

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvelous error! —
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Sunday 2007-02-10

The Little Prince — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

It was now the eighth day since I had had my accident in the desert, and I had listened to the story of the merchant as I was drinking the last drop of my water supply.

“Ah,” I said to the little prince, “these memories of yours are very charming; but I have not yet succeeded in repairing my plane; I have nothing more to drink; and I, too, should be very happy if I could walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water!”

“I am thirsty, too [he said]. Let us look for a well…”

I made a gesture of weariness. It is absurd to look for a well, at random, in the immensity of the desert. But nevertheless we started walking…

When we had trudged along for several hours, in silence, the darkness fell, and the stars began to come out…

He was tired. He sat down. I sat down beside him….

I looked across the ridges of sand that were stretched out before us in the moonlight.

“The desert is beautiful,” the little prince [said]. And that was true. I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams… “What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”

Sunday 2007-02-03

A Glass of Water — May Sarton

Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain;
It is the best I have, my only spell,
And it is cold, and better than champagne.
Perhaps someone will pass this house one day
To drink, and be restored, and go his way,
Someone in dark confusion as I was
When I drank down cold water in a glass,
Drank a transparent health to keep me sane,
After the bitter mood had gone again.

Parched — Ivan M. Granger

The parched know —
real thirst draws rainwater
from an empty sky.

Sunday 2007-01-27

Days of Thirst — Hans Werner Cohn

Once my pocket was filled with words
and when the great thirst arrived I bought
myself a little tipsiness.

I have spent my words.
Sober I must now endure
the pain of my great thirst.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Sunday 2007-01-20

The Peace of Wild Things — Wendell Berry

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Sunday 2007-01-13

The Fountain — Denise Levertov

Don't say, don't say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.
I have seen

the fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes

found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched — but not because
she grudged the water,

only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were

Don't say, don't say there is no water.
That fountain is there among its scalloped
green and gray stones,

it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,

up and out through the rock.

Sunday 2007-01-06

Everywhere, something begins to arrive — Rumi, ghazal number 837, translated by Nader Khalili, adapted by Becky Pine

Everywhere, something begins to arrive

every soul is seeking truth
every soul parched with thirst
they've all heard the voice of the quencher of thirst

everyone tastes the love
everyone tastes the milk
anxious to know
from where wisdom begins to arrive

waiting in fever
wondering ceaselessly
when will that final union begin to arrive

people of all beliefs
raising their hands to the sky
their chanting voices in unison begin to arrive

how happy is the one whose heart's ear
hears that special voice as it begins to arrive

clear your ears, my friend, from all expectations
so you can hear the sound as it begins to arrive

if your eyes are marred with petty visions,
wash them with tears
your teardrops are healers as they begin to arrive

keep silence
don't rush to finish your poem
the finisher of the poem, the creator of the word
will begin to arrive


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Most recently updated 2008-07-04