Water

By Robert Lowell

It was a Maine lobster town—
each morning boatloads of hands
pushed off for granite
quarries on the islands,

and left dozens of bleak
white frame houses stuck
like oyster shells
on a hill of rock,

and below us, the sea lapped
the raw little match-stick
mazes of a weir,
where the fish for bait were trapped.

Remember? We sat on a slab of rock.
From this distance in time
it seems the color
of iris, rotting and turning purpler,

but it was only
the usual gray rock
turning the usual green
when drenched by the sea.

The sea drenched the rock
at our feet all day,
and kept tearing away
flake after flake.

One night you dreamed
you were a mermaid clinging to a wharf-pile,
and trying to pull
off the barnacles with your hands.

We wished our two souls
might return like gulls
to the rock. In the end,
the water was too cold for us.

 


Underwater Vision

underwater-vision-1910 Odilon Redon

Underwater Vision. Odilon Redon. 1910.


A Monkey and a Woman

Mieth_A_IC

Left: Hansel Mieth’s portrait of a Rhesus Monkey in Puerto Rico in 1938
Right: Portrait of Silvana Mangano on the cover of LIFE magazine in 1960


In the Mountains

As if to Celebrate, I Discovered a Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers. Anish Kapoor. 1981

As if to Celebrate, I Discovered a Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers. Anish Kapoor. 1981

Scott's Tent 1984 by Boyd Webb born 1947

Scott’s Tent. Boyd Webb. 1984

[no title] Roni Horn. 1999

[no title] Roni Horn. 1999

I'm Tired of Traveling. Alex Hartley. 2011

I’m Tired of Traveling. Alex Hartley. 2011

Summertime. Balthus. 1935.

Summertime. Balthus. 1935.



In the Water

Ana Regina Nogueira by Gil Prates

Ana Regina Nogueira and Gil Prates

Ana Regina Nogueira by Gil Prates

Ana Regina Nogueira and Gil Prates


Ophelia

“There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.”

― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Ophelia. John Everett Millais. 1851.

Ophelia. John Everett Millais. 1851.

Millais‘ emblematic representation of Shakespeare’s Ophelia recreated through the ages:

Virginia Madsen recreate Ophelia in this scene from the film Fire with Fire, 1986.

Virginia Madsen recreates Ophelia in this scene from the film Fire with Fire, 1986.

The Way Home. Tom Hunter. 1999-2001.

The Way Home. Tom Hunter. 1999-2001.

Untitled (Ophelia). Gregory Crewdson. 2001.

Untitled (Ophelia). Gregory Crewdson. 2001.

Alessandra Sanguineti. Ophelia. 2002.

Alessandra Sanguineti. Ophelia. 2002.

Erin Oconnor Posing as Ophelia. Nadav Kander. 2004.

Erin Oconnor Posing as Ophelia. Nadav Kander. 2004.

Almere - Ophelia. Ellen Kooi. 2006.

Almere – Ophelia. Ellen Kooi. 2006.

“Lay her i’ the earth:
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring!”


Waterfall

Waterfall. James Dickson Innes. 1911.

Waterfall. James Dickson Innes. 1911.


Entre Dos Aguas

A beautiful song by Flamenco artist Paco de Lucía:


As One Listens To The Rain

By Octavio Paz

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it’s raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt’s shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift-go in,
your shadow covers this page.


Swimming Pool

John St. Clair Swimming. David Hockney. 1972.

John St. Clair Swimming. David Hockney. 1972.