Still Waters
by Paul Jones

I am still, waiting
for the one moment
that old Eastern sages
say gives absurdity
an absolute clarity,
the moment multiple
bald monks chant to induce.
They say the Way is
like water. It will work
its wonders at due time,
the way water always
breaks up rocks, turns them
into sand, but will not
be transformed itself.
Being water, it’s
already what it needs
to be. Winter and ice
merely redefine water.
Wind, when it works, only works
on the surface of water
When fire meets water,
water is sent to heaven
but fire just becomes ash.
Water, like saints, returns
to perform its steady work.
Sleet, snow, rain or hail—
even fog—are water’s
temporary bodies.
In time, water will be
all part of one huge sea.
Water will save us all
in time. In time, they say.
In the meantime, be water
as best you can be. Me?
I am still waiting
for all waters to become
still, to run deep, and
clear a few things up.

IMAGE: Ocean Blue Drip, sculpture by Peter Alexander (2011).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Lawrence Ferlinghetti placed a rocker in the poetry area of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. The chair rocks because it’s hard for anyone to sit still while reading poetry. Like the prophet Amos, I have been waiting for justice to roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream for a long time. I wish things were simpler, say like, water seems to be but isn’t really. I still try to be still at appropriate times, but like rain I fall, like the chair I rock, and like poetry I try to stir a few things up.

paul jones

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Jones’ poetry has been published in Poetry, Broadkill Review, Red Fez, Journal of American Poetry, and in other journals and anthologies, including Best American Erotic Poems (1800-Present). Recently, he was nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and two Best of the Net Awards. His chapbook is What the Welsh and Chinese Have in Common. A manuscript of his poems crashed on the moon’s surface in 2019. Visit him at  smalljones.com.