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The physiologist says I am well over

half water.

I feel, look, solid; am

though leaky firm.

Yet I am composed

largely of water.

How the composer turned us out

this way, even the learned few do not

explain. That’s life.

And we’re in need of

more water, over and over, repeatedly

thirsty, and unclean.

The body of this earth

has water under it and

over, from

where the long winds sough

tirelessly over water, or shriek around

curved distances of ice.

Sky and earth invisibly

breathe skyfuls of

water, visible when it

finds its own level.

Even in me?

Kin to waterfalls

and glacial lakes and sloughs

and all that flows and surges,

yet I go steadily,

or without distillation climb at will

(until a dissolution

nobody anticipates).

I’m something else besides.

The biochemist does not

concern himself with this.

It too seems substance,

A vital bond threaded on an

as-if loom out there.

The strand within

thrums and shudders and twists.

It cleaves to this

colour or texture and

singles out to a rhythm

almost its own, again,

anticipating design.

But never any of us

physiologist or fisherman

or I

quite makes sense of it. We

find our own level

as prairie, auburn or

snow-streaming, sounds forever

the almost limitless.

Rising Dust

Margaret Avison


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