Considering Water

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Considering Water:
     I settled deep into my body
           feeling my way into prayer
           for the waters of Japan.
     And the waters there, so injured
          by the radiation they have absorbed
          while helping humans harness atomic energy
to power all manner of uses,
                 both good and of dubious value,
           echoed my prayer for their healing
                 back to me, still in prayer, in my body.

     The echoes touched the waters of my body,
          and spoke what my body already knew
          about the waters of Japan:
                 all the waters of earth
                 are part of each other
                 in cycles and patterns of time
                 I can barely understand
                 with my mind.
     The waters know beyond our knowings.

     The waters of Japan and the waters of my body
          know themselves as all one Belonging.
          When one is injured or damaged,
          all of them are together in carrying it,
                 sharing it,
          serving as lifeblood in us
as in the entire body
          of Gaia, our home planet.
     I prayed my feeble apology
          for what we do to injure water,
          which is us and on which our lives depend.
     The waters absorbed my apology
          as they have absorbed all the poisons,
     and a knowing filled up in me
          as if I were a cup for water,
          and this knowing became very loud,
          and shrill as an evacuation siren,
                 a dire sound, urgent,
                 warning me,
                 and the finger of it pointed to
                              HANFORD.

     Years’ long awareness of its time-bomb dangers
          have not changed our knowing
          into action to care for its spreading poisons,
                 actions which could save our lives,
                 or which could have,
                 if taken in time,
                 if we had not relied
                 on empty promises
                 of our immobilized governments
                 if all of us had joined together
                 in unity as the waters are,
                 if we had learned to act together,
                 to work out healing of the earth
                        in time.

     The waters of Japan, in my body, ask urgently,
                 Will you act
                        in time?!!!

 

Carol Bosworth is frequently surprised by important messages in poetry, her own or others.  She lives as a semi-hermit, lodged within a retirement community and also in the active community of West Hills Friends Church, Portland, OR.

This poem was first published in Chapter 8 of Minding the Light (mindingthelight.org), a project of West Hill Friends Church.