Poetry February 1998

Falling Water

More
Audio:
Hear Peter Davison read "Falling Water", recorded in 1998.

 

 

 

 

Wherever it commences perhaps as random
    raindrop tapping on a leaf and tumbling
        into a tea-stained mosscup

it helplessly inquires after
    lower levels whether seeping
        darkly through silt

and marl to enlarge an imprisoned
    aquifer shortcut or taking its chances to trickle
        out through a slit of clay to join its first

brook and amble off into the yielding
    soft-shouldered marsh past fat roots of
        lilies to linger among the slick fronds

of algae paddled by ducks pierced by
    pickerel to hurry itself and
        whisk into the outlet that will boil it

along a streambed grid of gravel toward another
    stairstep of idleness the lucid
        lake spritzed with sparkling sun

there to seek its breach to tip and hurtle into
    yawning torrent and the great meander
        that will sweep it slow and away out

and empty into the broad salt
    sleep that will cradle it until
        the sun siphons it again
        to knit into more rain.



Jump to comments
Presented by

Peter Davison was The Atlantic's longtime poetry editor.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

More back issues, Sept 1995 to present.

Just In