writing on stone with water

writing on stone with water
is an exercise of impermanence–
what is true and brought out
dissipates. what is written by water on stone
whether shaped with force or tenderness
unbecomes as fast as it becomes;
that first letter vanishes
as the last is painted

no matter how deep
that brush enters the well,
the words do not stay.

without sound to carry it,
or paper to hold the stain
for other eyes

what would you write?

i would write
over and over
my own name

then maybe my mother’s
or my sister’s, my father’s.
and yours

until finally
the exercise is learned. what is written
in water cannot stay

and then
i would just write
yeses in a chain
that never become yes

but always almost yes
before they disappear

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to writing on stone with water

  1. GinAndTulips says:

    Susan, I am fast becoming your biggest fan. Thought provokingly wonderful.

  2. ruleofstupid says:

    Lovely as ever Susan – especially “no matter how deep
    that brush enters the well”
    I really should be working but I do love to read!
    Some days I would write ‘Hope’, and watch it fade
    Some days I would write ‘Sorrow’, it would fade the same

  3. Pingback: Sandscript – A Poem « ruleofstupid

  4. This is astonishingly beautiful and SOOOO filled with truth. I am going to write on some stones by my favorite river… possibly as soon as this weekend.

    You are an inspiration! I am so grateful you are a part of OctPoWriMo!

  5. jyllianm says:

    This is thought provoking and beautiful. Thank you

  6. Green Speck says:

    “that first letter vanishes as the last is painted” – what should I comment? I am in loss of words now …. how do you weave such magic always?

  7. Great words, my prolific friend.

  8. nelle says:

    Hmmmm… watching you write with water, now there would be your Native American name, eh? Writes With Water.

    And so it does disappear from view – in the shorter term. Water, it works on a different scale. It shape shifts, it holds a longer life than more rigid stone, and in the end, it wears it down.

    Which means precisely nothing, unlike your words, but it sounded good in the commenting. 😉

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