T h r e e S t a n z a s o n W a t e r
The way the water flowed over the stone
was as close to that which is beautiful
as I am likely to come and to speak
of it now is to affirm that it lives a perfect
life in the mind which recalls and bows
before it in humility and wonder.
Did the water define the shell or was it
the other way round? No matter, when I held it
both the water and shell were perfect
and complemented each other to such a degree
that they have never left the hand which holds them
but still cannot answer the question.
And it is its own metaphor for all that is
nourishing for the soul (as the divines say)
and for all that is substantial and passing
as it passes over the hand I plunge in it
as if I could recover its essence and say
once and for all the name it names itself by.