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July 8, 2008

You know it best only when it’s lost,
In contraries, in opaqueness, in fire and dust,
In the taste of salt on dry lips, and thirst
Crusting as you forage in fissure and cavern
For its trace, remembering the fingers of the rain
That stroked your head, and the thin paths of coolness
They left, and the thoughts of mist and long grass.

Deep, feigning dead, the seeds stand by.
The lizard and the scorpion quiver in the heat,
While, in their blood, the tall flood stacks up.

by Joe Hyam

Read by Dave Bonta — Download the MP3

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  1. July 9, 2008 at 3:36 am

    Really enjoyed this, especially the last three lines, whew.

  2. Keneth Hyam
    July 10, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    I like the way this poem deals in traces and absences revealing a nature – that of water – which otherwise cannot be grasped. It also seems to be about the all too fragile ecology which every year we must take less for granted

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