Water The Element

I wanted to capture something of the nature of water that beginning as vapour in a cloud eventually becomes the sea and oceans through what is commonly known as the water cycle. The stages are ripe for poetic interpretation and there is common literaure about the sea and water in various stages of flow. See we even use the words associated with water like ‘flow’, ‘currents’ and say that there was a ‘run’ of words that run their course not ‘coarse’. A look in a thesaurus will give you a flood of other examples. This ubiquity of water based words must mean something – Is it that we see reality as fluid?

Surely this is open to comedic purposes.

A flood of words came to a sudden stop as the chicken said ‘No’!

The coarse fisherman was always swearing.

The vapour , don’t waste the vapour! (of a bottle of vodka or whisky)

Funnily it seems that all that grows is green

Funny that truth arrives fully formed like a river at the sea then forms trubutaries rivers streams and eventually becomes a trickle.

Funny that comedy makes us laugh at what we didn’t realise  while instilling a sense of knowing or of fear.

Swirling currents made a whirlpool on the surface where children would throw twigs to watch them be consumed by the maelstrom.

The crayfish shyly emerged from under the concrete looking in the clear water like an advert for Britains pollution-free rivers.

The cut stank of mud and organic material. A scurrying frog ashamed to show his face in such a stagnant ditch hurried into a damp muddy hole in the river bank leaving behind a trail of footprints like an unidentifiable signature scrawl.

Heron waited patiently…

I am taken back to the ponds of my childhood by these memories and images when they were quite literally my playground to explore and discover new wildlife, birds and comfortable sitting positions near the ponds muddy edge. Close enough to be able to direct my net into the depths with enough leverage to bring it back up through an underwater forest of Canadian pondweed which was pretty but unwanted in my search for the great Dytiscus or Caddis larvae or sticklebacks or snails of which there were a nice variety. Ahh memories.

Anyway. Water is clear and thus lends itself to another use. If we say a conversation was flowing and clear we might be pushing the boat out on meaning but a clear flowing glass like mountain stream shares the same qualities. Was the conversation cold too? Good to drink? Like a Gods golden nectar stolen from source? I am just getting carried away which as a poet is exactly what I want to do for me and my readers too. It wouldn’t be any fun otherwise.

The brick wall had the solidity of a gently laminar flowing stream interrupted by the brown trout poking his head out!

The stagnant pool reminded me of so many of the boardroom meetings I had attended during my career.

The reeds looked so alive and I could not fathom that hollowed out by skilful hands they could become a musical instrument. Clinging to the reeds somewhere near the water line were little silk sacs of unknown origin. Perhaps they would reveal their secrets if I poked one of them with a stick?

The fisherman’s living room was the riverbank. The remote control his rod. The light fitting the ailing weather and the entertainment his own quiet thoughts interrupted by beeps from his line sensor. A catch! Brown trout again for you and me!

Funny how journeys lack the waters influence to as great a degree as the lands waterways might suggest. Tarmac not rivers, bridges not fords, cars now take us from point A to point B without any such poetic interference unless you count traffic (a good one) congestion (another), standstill, or ‘the smooth flow of traffic’ being the ideal situation to be in whenever on the road going somewhere nice perhaps. It’s on journeys like this that we often have nothing to do to occupy ourselves which if I allow myself to get carried away again in a veritable pit just waiting to be mined! Dive in and wallow in the messy mud!




Published by Andrew Mark Watkins

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