Water Spirit

Sun sparkling on the Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield ©️Merril D. Smith, 2021

Water Spirit

In the blue-light sparkle
I watch the spirit shift
as pin-prick glow, adrift
from the water

arising. She surprises
only me—I see. Why
do I hear a soft sigh—
watered-lips sip–

do not naiads thirst too?
And for knowledge, beauty—
do they weep in duty
quenching the earth?

No answers to questions
unasked. Cloud-masked sun, moon
shine a shimmer-light tune–
and dreams stream on.

–Merril D. Smith, Feb. 2021

This is an attempt at an abhanga (or collection of abhang?) for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Challenge. The form originated in India, where it was often written as devotional poetry. “It was popular from the 13th thru 17th centuries Marathi Region of India and is described as complex and classic. (poetrymagnumopus.com)”
It is made up of one or more four-line stanzas with syllables, 6-6-6-4. The second and third lines end in a rhyme: abbc. Sometimes there is also an internal rhyme.

This sparkling light on the river looked to me like a female figure coming out of the water.

38 thoughts on “Water Spirit

  1. I love this, it felt like water dripping or even water flowing through my body. It was very refreshing, and thank you for that bit of history about where this kind of poetry was originated from. It was fun to know a little about it’s kind 💙

  2. I’m so happy you decided to write some poetry to accompany your amazing photo. Your abhanga sequence is the perfect philosophical discussion of the naiad spirit. As humans, our bodies are mostly water – we’re connected through that element. This is really beautiful. ❤

  3. Thank you for the introduction to a new form of poetry. The sun on the water really does look like a spirit rising from it, and your poem does her justice. ” . . . and dreams stream on.”

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