A Thing About Water

There seems to be a thing
About a body of water
Which draws despairing women:
A coolness perhaps?
A kind of patient attentiveness
Why do we choose to die here,
Where men shrink from thoughts of death
As sailors on a precarious voyage?

Is it the longing for sympathetic tears and caresses?
The escape from the land
So overrun with men and their trappings?
Or is it, as the Greeks once said,
A yearning for the primal Chaos?

Perhaps we see something there,
Below the surface of the lie,
A truth unglimpsed by coarser eye,
An eddy of hope in the living currents,
Another world, yet untrodden.
And such gentle companions are here:
Sleek green fish skipping through forests of algae;
Ducks with spread toes paddling on in their unhurried way.
Maybe Father, too, is waiting here
Come up-river from the Deep
With pearls and seashells
To deck his woeful daughter.

Ah peace...
It is this we seek here in this blue shrine;
The submergence of memories and tearful longings,
Then the profounder calm of the depths.

George Chadderdon © 1994