Well, we’ve just got done with Robbie Burns Day, a celebration of the famous Scottish poet’s birthday. While some of you readers are recovering from excessive haggis intake, I’d like to remind you of two of the many poems he wrote: To a Mouse and To a Louse.
Robbie Burns’ poems begin very down to earth and then leap up into the heights of reflection. Since a poet of his stature found it seemly to write lofty poems about humble topics, I thought I would try writing a poem as well. Mine is free verse and nothing rhymes and no one can stop me now.
In deciding what topic or thing or element to honor with a poem, I looked around to see what was common to all our lives, what I (and maybe most of us) overlook, and yet, if I (we) reflected on it for a moment, would say: ‘Oh, what a good thing for all the world that this excellent thing exists. Now I appreciate it more than ever.’ Which I’ll bet Robbie’s 18th Century audience never said about the mouse or the louse. Anyway, here it is:
Ah, what clear and cool liquid you are as you pour from the tap
Millions of beings on our beautiful planet long to hold out their hands to you, scoop you up, nestle you in the palms of their cupped hands and kiss you
You who are sacred
You who are everywhere—so everywhere that people forget who you are and think you will always be there, fresh and clean and pure
How beautiful you are to swim through, your touch gentle on my skin as you let me pass by
O Water… thank you for your healing presence and your clear and simple essence
Without you, we would be nothing.
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Note: if you would like to join me in supporting successful efforts for more people to have access to clean water, take a look at Matt Damon’s interview on water (CNBC) in October 2012. He is a co-founder of Water.org