Kathleen Halecki

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.

Tread lightly,

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

plastic beaches

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.

Thanks for sharing!

About Copperfield

Since 2000, The Copperfield Review has been a leading market for historical fiction. Copperfield was named one of the top sites for new writers by Writer's Digest and it is the winner of the Books and Authors Award for Literary Excellence. We publish short historical fiction as well as history-based nonfiction, poetry, reviews, and interviews.
This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.