Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing that makes water,
and nobody knows what that is.

–D. H. Lawrence



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

syllables of water




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Beloved, let us once more praise the rain.

Let us discover some new alphabet, For this, the often praised; and be ourselves, The rain, the chickweed, and the burdock leaf, The green-white privet flower, the spotted stone, And all that welcomes the rain; the sparrow too,- Who watches with a hard eye from seclusion, Beneath the elm-tree bough, till rain is done.

There is an oriole who, upside down, Hangs at his nest, and flicks an orange wing,- Under a tree as dead and still as lead;

There is a single leaf, in all this heaven Of leaves, which rain has loosened from its twig: The stem breaks, and it falls, but it is caught Upon a sister leaf, and thus she hangs;

There is an acorn cup, beside a mushroom Which catches three drops from the stooping cloud.

The timid bee goes back to the hive; the fly Under the broad leaf of the hollyhock Perpends stupid with cold; the raindark snail Surveys the wet world from a watery stone...
And still the syllables of water whisper:
The wheel of cloud whirs slowly: while we wait In the dark room; and in your heart I find One silver raindrop,-on a hawthorn leaf,- Orion in a cobweb, and the World.


–Conrad Aiken (1889-1973)


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