Underground Waters Run Deep

Caverns of the land run deep,
caverns of the aquifers,
strong water, pure springs
eke out glades and ferny gullies.

Springs dream their own worship;
fountains, stone basins,
black and white tiling of medieval baths,
calling for dedicants to drink at them.

They do not want to accept our response;
dry up and ossify,
crystal in when the aquifers break
leaving only stains of red iron and traces of calcite.

They do not want their only remains
to be a serpentine sculpture in aquamarine
or leonine face of rough sandstone
without enough water to whet its tongue.

They do not want to only be remembered
in our chanting of lost names,
but what can be done when we have sealed
our sole life source under concrete?

When it is only in dream that time
turns back and in its deep well
lets us see the reflection of a future
we cannot go back to?

Dolphin Fountain, Avenham Park
Dolphin Fountain, Avenham Park
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3 thoughts on “Underground Waters Run Deep

  1. Yes nothing sadder than to see the old stone fountains with no water coming out of them, the water having been diverted for the “good of man”. This afternoon i was up at the original mountain spring that was the clean water supply for the black cabin a hundred years ago. I have collected the fallen down locust wood, still good, to make a new gateway. I have honoured this spring with blood sweat and tears, literally. I have collected the old iron nails to rebuild the gateway. Someday i will take a metal detector up there to see what dropped from the ancestor’s pockets as they dipped for fresh water to take to the cabin. But when it rains this spring at least still trickles forth filling a swampland along the southside of the mountain. The Naginis are happy i remember them and i am sure the Native Americans drank from this clean clear water also….

      1. Like i said that is on my not so nice rich neighbor’s land maybe 30 meters from my property line, but that is where much of the water flow comes from that comes down through my properties across the stream. Actually maybe 80 years ago when they first built that bridge they completely redirected the stream bed, something totally illegal nowadays, but nature has adjusted well since then. So i feel no guilt “liberating” some old pieces of oak from the tossed away pieces of the old bridge and locust from the old spring house to re-purpose into Shinto style gateways.

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