Shovelling the ocean with a teaspoon.
So, that's how it is.
A weary drop at a time.
It can never be done,
never do any good,
all it does
is make you tired.
Why do you need the ocean water?
To survive, to put upon the back
of a stranded creature,
scarred and gasping.
If that creature dies,
so will I.
Can you not move it
closer to the ocean?
It is too heavy.
Can you not find a larger receptacle
to carry water in?
There is only me, the ocean,
the beach and the creature
in all of existence.
The creature cannot move?
No, it cannot.
Can you call for help?
I have called a weary hundred thousand times
until my voice broke and my throat
was hoarse from all the shouting
and the creature nearly died
because I spent what energy I have
on screaming, not on ferrying the water.
Can you not dig the sand?
It is too slippery
and I have to keep bringing water
all the time or else
the creature dies.
What does the creature say?
It doesn't say a thing,
it is suffering too greatly.
Have you not considered
putting yourselves out
of your never ending misery.
I stop and my head begins to hurt.
I turn to look at the blackened,
red burst crusted alien creature
and I go to it and talk to it sincerely
and it opens a weary eye
to look at me.
Would you rather die? I ask it
and it nods its head so slightly
that I have to ask again.
But how can I sit here and watch you die?
You are all I have in all the world -
without you what would there be,
just this shore, this ocean,
I cannot be here by myself.
I keep you so that there is
some measure of purpose
for my being here at all.
Please don't leave me,
please, please don't die!
I love you desperately, needfully,
I cling to you with everything I am
and I will do whatever you ask of me -
just please, oh please don't leave me here!
I cry and cry and my tears touch the creature
and where they fall upon its
blackened, burned, charred skin
it soothes there
is taking place
Round spots of healing,
revealing an opal blue green skin
of sea smoothness
where there was
wound upon wound.
This was the salt water
which the creature craved,
a salt water not found in the ocean,
a salt water that carried such strong magic
you would never know or guess
just how much healing transformation
it has the power to procure.
I can heal you, I thought,
I can really heal you and perhaps when healed,
you'll heal me back
and there's a chance of something else,
a chance of life
beyond the never ending toil and suffering
here on this barren shore.
A great sadness wells within me -
I cry and cry and heal and heal and heal
and cry and heal and cry
and finally the creature is restored
entirely in its sleek and ancient beauty -
it lifts its head and it begins to
sing a song of beauty,
of compassion and of love
and as it does, the sky begins to rend
and through it came a cornucopia of life
of sea and land and sky and
thus transformed the barren shore
to lusciousness and teeming,
to colours, sounds and textures
rich and full of majesty
together in a symphony
And thus began
Silvia Hartmann 2002
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