Writing on Water

by Judi Bachrach

With thanks to Elaine Colandrea and Neil Dalal for languaging the ineffable

Like Hammurabi or Ashoka

we think

to chisel our dreams

our laws for moral behavior

our democratic systems

our individual life programs

in stone steles

skyscrapers, monuments, bridges


against forever

they crumble

into rigid irrelevance

We are all born of

the same ocean

the same ocean

our liquid eyes are pools  

reflecting what they receive

the art of writing on water

adapts to constant

fluid motion


the unstoppable effervescent

Intelligence of Life

Elaine Colandrea is a Continuum friend and colleague and Neil Dalal is an Associate Professor of South Asian philosophy and religious thought at the University of Alberta, Canada. They have both given me words for the poem above in each their own sphere of teaching. It was not one of those poems that fell ripe from the muse tree- nothing clicked until the last moment though the urge was swirling in the chaos of these times. There are days I am wedded to rigid stone for some kind of anchor. Then the next wave washes over me, my rocky island crumbles beneath my feet, and I am swimming again.

2 thoughts on “Writing on Water

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