Light Over Water


Myriad instantaneous alighting raindrops on the stream
That has run unbroken down and on
Since this once familiar place was home,
Each in its alighting flashes sun’s glitter and is gone
As another, and another and another come to meet me,
Always here and now,
The same bright innumerable company arriving,
Anew the present always absolving from time’s flow.

Old, I know
How many, many, many of the epiphanies of light.

And yet now as I write
They are only memories,
Those bright arrivals of the travelling light,
Now nowhere,never again.
No Road or bridge or gate
Into the past, once now, once here,
Nor farthest star comes near
Where they are gone, who once were dear;
For memory is Hades’ house
Where none is present, where none meet.

And yet again, always
Those presences come to us, are seen, are known,
Messengers of meaning, sacred, indecipherable,
Present everywhere, to all.
Inaccessible as life their source;
We know untold, untaught
Who they are, what holy truth proclaim
The know a mystery, a mystery the known,
Forms of wisdom in perpetual epiphany, they and we,
Sun and eye, seer and seen,
Daily angels, sun and stars, river and rain.

by Kathleen Raine

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