being water




I have tried and tried to be fire.

Thought perhaps this.

At last, this.

Would set my passion ablaze.

Standing so close to hell.


I have labeled myself.

Unfocused, undisciplined, weak.  

Cowardly, aimless, inept.

(a)pathetic. paralyzed, shrinking


Scorning my seeming ability

to perceive shades of gray

where others so clearly see 

black or white.


So I thought maybe this, then.


would be the moment when clouds break

enough for me to find



But no.

For here I stand once

again at the center

of a circle whose circumference stretches far

beyond that appealing horizon.


Perhaps I construct this worldview

to feel safe on this circling

globe of uncertainty,

gathering these shattered

fragments of shock and disgust

into some semblance of understanding.



But today it struck me that this doesn’t feel

much like surrender at all.


I think that perhaps this is love.


And it doesn’t burn hot,

but it falls.

Falls like rain from those breaking

clouds,  from within this diffuse

and pervasive gray.

And it falls, as they say,

on the righteous and the unrighteous,

softening rock into soil for new growth.

And it flows, connecting the distant

the disparate.

And it pours itself out

and it spreads (oh how I have lamented this incapacity in me, this inability to have boundaries enough to be filled or contained)  

and it takes it all in

as it quenches.

It is really a force, after all.


But it is not fire. No.

It is not fire. Not so intense,

nor nearly so focused, as that.

It goes where it will despite my attempts to corral it

and makes of this earth one place.


And it can extinguish

those fires of hell.





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