The Honesty of Water

June 4, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Posted in poetry, writing | 33 Comments
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each one must have his own tree
which speaks with the scent of flowers
sky is blue, sky is blue, and white

each one must carry his song
carefully fold his dreams
inside and sit-and-whistle while

gather children unto him with
white cloud blue unraveling
white and blue the sing
song grace
of falling leaves

each one must be made of
his mothers many names
see with eyes of refugee
believe only in
the honesty
of water


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  1. beautiful poem 🙂

  2. This is sublime. So beautiful and delicate – almost like a whisper on the breeze that has me straining to listen more closely so that I don’t miss one single word.
    Sublime is a beautiful word. Thanks, Tracey.

  3. I enjoyed this piece very much. There’s this musical quality to it, reminscent of some of the beat poets.
    Thanks, Benjamin. Have you met my friend Aefiel? She is in Singapore too.

  4. Loves!

  5. This seems like what I’ve been trying to write for weeks. And I normally would be annoyed that you captured it first, but instead, it was refreshing to see someone else speak my mind.
    Jess! Hello, must have been vulcan mind meld,

  6. like a rose opening its petals to rain
    and the scent of the flower
    rising meets midair
    with my flaring nostrils
    and suddenly stillness surrounds
    the misty morn, heartbeats
    and the resonant roots of the tree.

    simply divinely awesome writing Paul
    Thankyou, Tipota. Can I add line breaks to your comment? I will anyway, I know you won’t mind.

  7. This is very nice, Paul. A gentle breeze. A kiss. But I tripped at “gather children”, which seems transposed and breaks the flow (sense) from the previous stanza. Was that your intent? If so, I’m not sure it’s necessary. The rhythm in the 3rd stanza calls me, is me, even though you’ve disguised it some in your choice of line breaks. It is a poem in itself, you know. I wonder what would happen if you indented it. Excuse me. I am unraveling…
    Thankyou Agnes. There is a little silence there, your mind expects there to be more of the sentence after the word ‘while..’
    but there isn’t, it starts ‘gather children..’
    and that is why you tripped. I thought about it a lot ‘cos I knew it would happen. Perhaps I should put some punctuation there to imply that trailing off mid thought. I’ll think about it. The indenting is a good idea but formatting is something I only allow myself to do very rarely as a kind of protest against the amount of completely unnecessary formatting a lot of poets do these days to make their poems seem more poemy than they really are. I am also unravelling, it is a very pleasant feeling.

  8. Excellent poem, just one short comment. I do not know why but the short phrase “falling leaves” is a poem in itself
    Thankyou, Mariana. It is, like a mini-haiku.

  9. Love your poem, Paul~ Your mind works in intricate ways. I simply love the image of falling leaves and how it connects so strongly to the single word refugee. Beautiful. Have a nice day.
    Thankyou MIchelle. You too. It is very foggy here this morning, which is rare. Sometimes the weather follows the poems in a mystical way.

  10. This poem took me to a very quiet green place. A very still place. Misty. Or maybe foggy. In the morning. Or maybe the evening. Or maybe it was neither. Thank you. Thank you for this reminder. I had forgotten the sensuality of honesty.
    Your welcome, and thankyou for your lovely comment. I originally called this poem, “all misty wet with rain” from the Van Morrison song in the vodpod. It’s cool that a few people have said ‘misty’ in their comments. And it is foggy this morning for the first time this year. Magic.

  11. I had to read this twice to feel the full effect of it’s weighty weightlessness (if that makes sense). Sometimes the subject matter with the most gravity needs the light touch of a wispy brush. You are good mon amis. 🙂
    Thankyou, Val.

  12. This is a different “Paul-voice” in comparison to the voice in my head I normally assign you when I read your work. This one is calmly confident & at peace… it reads slowly but with some unfailing element I can’t quite identify…


    It is my alternate voice, Bryan. I realised suddenly, ‘too much ginga, not enough tao.’

  13. i agree with poeticgrin. i think of paul as autumn, and this is all spring. maaaarvelous.
    Thanks Noah. I have been trying to bring your fantastic visual poetry to the attention of Geof Huth but he is very very busy.

  14. fidgety, I am. Fidgety wishing for a little curly hairbreath you know where but then I am pedantic about such things and I know it’s annoying and so I shall shut up. This has the lull of Listen, with some lyrical whimsy. Beautiful. I’ve stopped fidgeting now, haha. Definitely an *a* lister.
    You are fidgety about the missing possessive apostrophe, I know. I have decided to do away with them for all time. They serve absolutely no purpose and they are ugly. Unlike you who is very beautiful, Narnie.

  15. There is a utopia inside this poem.
    I hope so, Maxine. An anarchist taoist utopia. We should work on making it manifest outside this tiny poem too.

  16. pure bliss 🙂

  17. this is lovely, specially the opening
    Thankyou, Juliet.

  18. That makes me feel tall.
    I know, it’s not about me,
    but I like it nevertheless.
    Oh but it is about you, Mr Tree. I’m glad you like it.

  19. if only 🙂
    Smiley face yayayay

  20. ahhhhhhhhhhhh…cool, refreshing and prinicpled water…thirst quenched…awesome wordsmithing…
    Thanks, Chico.

  21. the only line i am slightly confused by is the second…trees and then flowers? hmmm but i’m gonna think about it some more.

    very kewl though, very ee cummings in a totally good way 🙂
    Some trees wear flowers, I think. ee is one of my favourites, of course, so thankyou.

  22. Hi, Paul 🙂

    It’s really good reading you again. Thank you for visiting me…..

    A long time ago, in a land far far away, I remember hearing how God “sings” a unique song over each of us at the moment of our birth. I wonder if that song – the GodSong – is the one we must fold our dreams inside of, if we ever really want to understand why we are here…..
    Hello, Grace. That is a lovely comment, thankyou.

  23. Standing ovation for this one.
    Yayaya, thankyou, Harmonie.

  24. This poem is so beautiful.

    And speaking of clouds, and blue, and names, and song.

    My copy of “The Puzzle Box” just arrived!

    So I have something new and wonderful to read.
    Thankyou, Aletha. Don’t forget to let me know what you think about the book. I’ll be fascinated to hear a visual artist’s feedback.

  25. The poem trickles. It’s magical.
    ‘trickles’ haha, perfect, thankyou Ms Squirrel.

  26. at first of dogs
    then of narcissistic distopiatic mantra
    and then of religion (narcissistic distopiatic mantra)
    and then of the universe who’s love she does bequeath

    I always find quite the journey in your words sir

    Ozy! How are you my old friend? One of the few remaining of the original bloggedy bloggers. Us old timers must stick together. Thankyou for your kind words.

  27. a subtle beat of drums reminds me of american indian poetry… but then again aborigines are just as poetic with their wandering dream dwellers as well… were you sitting outside under a tree with a gentle breeze? cannot help but remember the bluest of skies in oz, out in the middle of nowhere, the bush of the northwest… thousands of euclyptus trees… are we not all refugees in a foreign camp searching for home… but the honesty of water… yes, there is no other… it is a good place you are in… can i say that, it is a compliment… another nice visit…
    Ms Pie, your comments are works of art in themselves,

  28. Paul, this poem made me misty-eyed. Yes,the honesty of water — of the forest, trees and flowers, the wind, the sky, the creatures who make the forest their home, from arachnids to deer to tadpoles — there are many facets of life, but life lived close to nature is, for me, the most genuine, meaningful, and trustworthy.
    That is a very lovely comment, thankyou, Thomma Lyn.

  29. I feel cool water and a gentle breeze whilst reading your words. Lovely, you.Just lovely.
    Thankyou, SarahA

  30. this song carries me…beautiful words of joyous tranquility, perfect for a rainy summer night.
    I’m very glad you enjoyed it, La Luna.

  31. the unbridled timpani of a summer storm…
    Ahh, timpani, a beautiful sound. I must find a video of a gamelan orchestra, Graham.

  32. This is truly beautiful, Paul.
    Thankyou. I am just sticking this one to the front of the blog because it is as far as I’ve got in putting the new manuscript together.

  33. So gentle like the caress of the breeze. Beautiful. Thanks.
    Thankyou, Cocoyea.

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