Obsidian’s Edge 12

1:15 pm
Water 2

Water seeks its final solution as it slips from cupped hands.
Does it remember when the earth was without form
and darkness was upon the face of the deep?

The waters under heaven were gathered into one place
and the firmament appeared.
Light was divided from darkness
and with the beginning of light came The Word,
and words, and the world …

… the world of water in which I was carried
until the waters broke
and the life sustaining substance drained away
throwing me from dark to light.

The valley’s parched throat longs for water,
born free, yet everywhere imprisoned:


in chains, in bottles, in tins, in jars, in frozen cubes,
its captive essence staring out with grief filled eyes.

A young boy on a tricycle bears a dozen prison cells,
each with forty captives: forty fresh clean litres of water.
“¡Peragua!” he calls. “¡Super Agua!”

He holds out his hand for money
and invites me to pay a ransom,
to set these prisoners free.

Real water yearns to be released,
to be set free from its captivity,
to trickle out of the corner of your mouth,
to drip from your chin,
to seek sanctuary in the ground.


Real water slips through your hair
and leaves you squeaky clean.
It is a mirage of palm trees upon burning sand.

It is the hot sun dragging its blood red tongue across the sky
and panting for water like a great big thirsty dog.

Water 1 (Obsidian’s Edge 11) was published in At the Edge of Obsidian (2005). Water 2 (Obsidian’s Edge 12) was re-written earlier this year for Obsidian’s Edge. Both attempts are interesting (for different reasons) and I am wondering whether to keep both versions. Obsidian’s Edge is the continuing rewrite of the earlier book. This re-write is part of the ongoing revision of The Oaxacan Trilogy.


4 thoughts on “Obsidian’s Edge 12

  1. I think both work, but in different ways. I think I’ll find a way to revise and combine / contrast them. I like the image of “buying and selling the captives”; it’s very modern, but it goes back to Cervantes.


  2. It is the hot sun dragging its blood red tongue across the sky
    and panting for water like a great big thirsty dog.

    I love that you circled back to this imagery from 11. It gives a sense of the cycle of days and gives the work an eternal feel. Great work!


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