by Octavio Paz

The water hollowed the stone,

the wind dispersed the water,

the stone stopped the wind.

Water and wind and stone.

The wind sculpted the stone,

the stone is a cup of water,

The water runs off and is wind.

Stone and wind and water.

The wind sings in its turnings,

the water murmurs as it goes,

the motionless stone is quiet.

Wind and water and stone.

One is the other and is neither:

among their empty names

they pass and disappear,

water and stone and wind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Octavio Paz Lozano (1914–1998) was a Mexican writer, poet, and diplomat, and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature. (Read more at

PHOTO: “Water & Stone” by Samuel Collazo, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.