Water: An Epic History
God moved upon the face of the water,
Separating water from land,
Nun in the sacred pool,
Apsu in the primordial sea,
Khnemu mixes the earth with water for clay
while Atum weeps.
Adam and Eve take their first drink of life
to bathe in the rivers of Eden.
But the wine
has been spilled,
Ziasudra, Utnapishtim, Noah,
listen to what I will tell you,
the seas will rise over the land
to wash away the seed of man.
The Yellow and Yangtze Rivers will overflow,
Great Yu! Cut thru the mountain
to let the rivers travel to the land
and let the farmers plant their crops.
Spider Grandmother has protected
the righteous from the flood in reeds.
Atlantis has sunk into the ocean depths,
but some have fled east and others west.
Some have found the fountain of Peng Lai,
others have been given water to
quell their thirst
while Siddartha calmly waits.
Water is like virtue,
it flows without seeking.
The wise find pleasure in it.
Rise, Aphrodite, from the ocean’s foam,
King of Ithaca, caught between Scylla
and Charybdis on the voyage home.
Heraclitus says not to step twice in the same river.
Oh, Venus, give birth to Caesar
so that he may cross the Rubicon.
The die has been cast,
Pilate washes his hands
as the side of Christ has been pierced
bringing forth water and blood.
The barbarians have come,
the Romans have fled into the marshes.
The Vikingar have taken to their longships
to see land across a forgotten ocean
where Tlaloc lets it rain
on the pyramids of Lake Texcoco.
the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria
have arrived to wash away sin.
On the shores of Gitchee Gumee,
by the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Hiawatha hears the sound of Pilgrim fathers
praying for deliverance on the Mayflower.
In the distance the sound of cannons
covers the silence of the Delaware crossing.
The sun shines in those pans,
they bring riches beyond your dreams
brought from streams down the mountain.
The wheels turn night and day
as black ashes fall like leaves,
the beaver is no longer king.
Behind the walls the water trickles
slowly while on the other side
of the world it has washed over
the land in fury.
Godzilla rises from the depths
to crush the faithless.
The shores have turned into
the colors of the rainbow.
There is no sound,
But the lapping of penance
back into the primal waters.
Kathleen Halecki possesses a B.A. and M.A. in history, and a doctoral degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on early modern Scotland. Between teaching history and working in a museum, she feels lucky to be able to share the history of humanity with so many people every day. This is her first foray into history-inspired poetry.