Friday, September 2, 2011

What the Water Knows

What the mouth sings, the soul must learn to forgive.
A rat’s as moral as a monk in the eyes of the real world.
Still, the heart is a river
pouring from itself, a river that cannot be crossed.

It opens on a bay
and turns back upon itself as the tide comes in,
it carries the cry of the loon and the salts
of the unutterably human.

A distant eagle enters the mouth of a river
salmon no longer run and his wide wings glide
upstream until he disappears
into the nothing from which he came. Only the thought remains.

Lacking the eagle’s cunning or the wisdom of the sparrow,
where shall I turn, drowning in sorrow?
Who will know what the trees know, the spidery patience
of young maple or what the willows confess?

Let me be water. The heart pours out in waves.
Listen to what the water says.
Wind, be a friend.
There’s nothing I couldn’t forgive.

Sam Hamill


  1. Wow. On the tails of hurricane Irene, this is ever so more stunning. Thank you for sharing this poem, Claire.

  2. Hi Jayne - thanks for coming by. It's been a while since I posted anything here and I did so both mindfully and absent-mindedly. . . lovely, then, to find your comment, just to know you'd been. Love to you - am happy to see you're back on your blog - your rich, rewarding blog - too. xo