You Can't Lead a Horse


On a blanket beside a river, lovers
listen to the silence of water.

All Gods, even the false ones,
are born from water.

Light will dance with many partners,
but none like water.

A newborn’s heartbeat
is the sound of swirling water.

God’s first decision:
to name the magma water.

In the lake’s mirror, mountains wriggle
like jellyfish diving deep in water.

The priest needs the silver basin.
His God needs only the water.

A plane crash-lands safely on the Hudson.
No one thanks the water.

A blue whale’s lungs are so large
they collapse without the support of water.

The woman is drunk.
She asks the water for waiter.

Trapped in sandstone for 10,000 years, raindrops
sometimes forget they are water.

When Patrick Henry said liberty,
he meant water.

The man ties his ankle weights
hastily. ‘Not now,’ says the water.

In seven billion years the earth will be fire,
Europa will be a blue sphere of water.

What we speak is rocks.
What we cannot speak is water.

The sound of the boy’s death moved through town
like a ripple of water.





Previously published in OCW Magazine #16 (Co-Winner, OCW Poem of the Year Contest) and in In Fine Form: The Canadian Book of Form Poetry.

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