the current

THE CURRENT
-W.S. Merwin
 
For a long time some of us
lie in the marshes like dark coats
forgetting that we are water
 
dust gathers all day on our closed lids
weeds grow up through us
 
but the eels keep trying to tell us
writing over and over in our mind
our heavenly names
 
and through us a thin cold current
never sleeps
 
its glassy feet move on until they find stones
 
then cloud fish call to it again
your heart is safe with us
 
bright fish flock to it again touch it
with their mouths say yes
have vanished
 
yes and black flukes wave to it
from the Lethe of the whales
 

*

this poem resonated with me today, a truly fall-like and watery day in mcminnville. i read it while eating creamy oatmeal with maple syrup and drinking an americano. leaves were falling outside the window. the colors seem to be slower to arrive this year (this picture is from last fall), but the leaves are always pretty when they spiral down to the street.

(also, “Lethe,” which i had to look up, means “oblivion, or forgetfulness” and is related to the greek work for truth. “Lethe” was one of the five rivers in the greek mythical underworld, the most famous of which is the Styx.)


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One thought on “the current

  1. I love that poem.

    I just realized the origin of the name for your blog! I was listening to Bon Iver’s new album on my iPod this morning and the last song came up. 🙂 I’ve listened to that album all summer but never realized the name of the song.

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