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

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Five things you didn't know about water


The surface tension in a drop of water is enough to hold a world in,
if the world is small enough, 
A cubic meter of salt water contains seventy billion tears and tears
are what you are made of -- salt and water and pain and relief 

The distance between you and me can be measured in drowned
fishermen, ships lost at sea, shipboard romances, and tidal waves 

When you sweat, your frustration comes out in rivulets, meaning
you have many avenues for relieving your stress: heat and hard work
are not your only choices, but they do the job if you let them 
I brought you this glass of water because I don't have any comfort
to give you so I comfort myself with this wet gift

–Serene Vannoy


Saturday, July 23, 2016

from Ideas of Space


My mathematics is helpless against the sea.

Norman Lock

 more here


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ours is

Island of Lost Souls, 1932


All passes and all remains,
and ours is to pass by,
to pass by making roads,
roads over the sea.

–Antonio Machado


Monday, July 18, 2016

The Peace of Wild Things



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.

–Wendell Berry


Sunday, July 17, 2016



"So lasting they are, the rivers!” Only think. Sources somewhere in the mountains pulsate and springs seep from a rock, join in a stream, in the current of a river, and the river flows through centuries, millennia. Tribes, nations pass, and the river is still there, and yet it is not, for water does not stay the same, only the place and the name persist, as a metaphor for a permanent form and changing matter. The same rivers flowed in Europe when none of today’s countries existed and no languages known to us were spoken. It is in the names of rivers that traces of lost tribes survive. They lived, though, so long ago that nothing is certain and scholars make guesses which to other scholars seem unfounded. It is not even known how many of these names come from before the Indo-European invasion, which is estimated to have taken place two thousand to three thousand years B. C. Our civilization poisoned river waters, and their contamination acquires a powerful emotional meaning. As the course of a river is a symbol of time, we are inclined to think of a poisoned time. And yet the sources continue to gush and we believe time will be purified one day. I am a worshipper of flowing and would like to entrust my sins to the waters, let them be carried to the sea. 

—Czeslaw Milosz
Robert Hass version


Saturday, July 16, 2016

look at the Water of the water


Day and night there is movement of foam on the Sea.
You see the foam, but not the Sea. Amazing!
We are dashing against each other like boats:
our eyes are darkened though we're on clear water.
O you who've gone to sleep in the body's boat,
you've seen the water,
but look at the Water of the water.
The water has a Water that is driving it;
the spirit has a Spirit that is calling it.




Friday, July 15, 2016

the sea


Before our human dream (or terror) wove
Mythologies, cosmogonies, and love,
Before time coined its substance into days,
The sea, the always sea, existed: was.
Who is the sea? Who is that violent being,
Violent and ancient, who gnaws the foundations
Of earth? He is both one and many oceans;
He is abyss and splendor, chance and wind.
Who looks on the sea, sees it the first time,
Every time, with the wonder distilled
From elementary things—from beautiful
Evenings, the moon, the leap of a bonfire.
Who is the sea, and who am I? The day
That follows my last agony shall say.

–Jorge Luis Borges
Alastair Reid translation