Don't Say There Is No Water

08-09-2013 | Bob Sabath

This whole Pilgrimage of Peace we will focus on Jesus' words: "If only you knew the things that make for peace."

We will look closely at the Beatitudes and integrate them with stories, and poetry and song. Our poetic questions will revolve around this theme of " the things that make for peace".

Tonight our first night we shared a poem by Denise Levertov called The Fountain: "Don't say, don't say there is no water to solace the dryness at our hearts. I have seen the fountain springing out of the rock wall. And you drinking there, and I too before your eyes..."

We introduced this little poem in the middle of song and silence as a kind of prayer. A prayer of hope and determined belief that the source of our lives -- the fountain -- may be difficult to see at times but it is there. "It is still there, and always there".

We share aloud this poem and chant it back and forth in a call and response way. We drink and eat good poetry internalizing the precious words keeping their truth for times when we need them. Poetry is one way we learn the ways of peace. Internalizing good poetry is one of the things that make for peace.

The Fountain
by Denise Levertov

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts.
I have seen

the fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes

found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched—but not because
she grudged the water,

only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
refreshed.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
That fountain is there among its scalloped
green and gray stones,

it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.

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Image of The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov
The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov