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


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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