The ochre stream from the workings
of the mines

 

 

 

The ochre stream from the workings of the mines
still flows densely in the sough; the higher springs
dried before the living memory. Dry rock inarticulate
and thirsting for the waters' language, dry rock
without an echo, without a bed of moss
upon a hillside, no dipper's memory of half sunk stones
and reflections of a shallow surface from the underside.

What would remain of us if we were shifted
by an undermining that we did not know
and the thing - which we believe we are - so close
to being us that the flowing gift does not occur?

Other streams would flow, there is no doubt of that,
and other waters take the easy course
without us, and prayer would be the emptier,
and hasten the descent. Language is no more a thing
than is the waters' fall.
Language is no more a thing
than is the waters' fall.

 

 

The Present Perennial