The Names of Water by Larry Schug

The Names of Water

There is a name, though I’ve never heard it spoken,
That the roots of aspen cities give to you
When their inhabitants come to drink
With their tongues burrowing into the earth,
All the names peoplekind have given you
Because they don’t know the names you give yourself
Though you speak them in one language or another for all to hear,
Calling yourself a different name when you flow over stones
Or when you wash up on shore,
When you sing in duet with wind,
When you fill a glass with a small waterfall
Pouring from a faucet,
When you bubbledrum, then whistle in a tea kettle,
When fire laps you up in order to die,
When all forms of tongues come to you,
When throats absorb you and blood
Carries you throughout all bodies
And who knows all the names given you
By the myriad walkers and flyers
That come to you in order to live,
Object of earthly thirst
When you change your name from rain to river to rain again.

by Larry Schug

Editor’s Note: The unexpected onomatopoeia in the center of this poem decorates the personification of water with sound. Poems like this are a gift—arriving just when we need them most.

One thought on “The Names of Water by Larry Schug

  1. wow…i loved that poem
    i am a 13 year old who has just started my way into poetry…it will be amazing if u could check out and follow my blog “mystoems”… i could really use your guidance!


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