Write About A Body of Water





1. Make a list of ten bodies of water you have seen (ranging from a bathtub to the Mediterranean Sea).

2, Choose one of them, and write about it.


Dorothy told this story: We used to have this cat around the house. Mum said we could have a cat but it couldn't come in the house but it used to hang around. He'd come in, all summer, soaking wet. They all blamed me, said I was throwing that cat in the water. I don't know why they said that, maybe because I was the youngest. I told them, "I didn't throw the cat the in water" but every time he come in all wet they'd yell, "Did you throw water on that cat?" 
This one time I was out back by the cows and I saw our cat walk up to the pond, step in, and go swimming across. He had his little head up, just a going. Well, then they wouldn't believe me when I told them this story. "You just threw that cat in the pond," Bubbles said to me when she got home from work. My own sister calling me a liar. Then one day, ma saw it swimming. I still don't know why they thought I would throw a cat in the pond.

-Susan Beaver


The grey carp hover suspended just below the surface of the water. Why do we stare at anything alive? We are passersby. There are five of them. And we stare as though they are not quite possible, verging on the visible but fading back. The sky is cloudy today. There are grey clouds in a grey sky reflected in the grey water. There is no reflection on its surface, none. Sometimes for moments at a time and they too are breathing.

from NOON, by Cole Swensen


Body of Water

Tonight my son washed the dishes. It is his job to do after dinner. About an hour later, I noticed a pool of water on the drainboard. The water had flowed from the dish-rack pan in an irregular patter across the formica, clear over to the compost bowl. The dish-rack pan has a small tear near the broad lip that is supposed to drain water back into the sink - sometimes water flows through the tear, and sometimes not, there is no predicting the meanders water will take in its mysterious viscosity. Now the pool of water is evaporating - like so many things becoming invisible - and giving the house a bit more humidity than the dry summer air outside. Something is living in the water now, I'm sure of it, microbes or bacteria that have been waiting to hatch - if that is what bacteria do - creatures existing for the opportunity to exist, like the Australian frogs who survive as mummies in the outback dust until the rains come. That is what the pool is like, the heavy thunderstorms that sometimes slow traffic in Denver, and when an intersection floods even the asphalt is forced to drink.

Bill Scheffel




a pier that seems to go forever
a rock skipping the surface
an inner tube beached in sand
a thong

a tacklebox with leader,
buoys, #8 lead weight
and salmon eggs

the way sand feels inside your swim suit
the way water stings in your nose
the way a stick floats

your mother in a bathing suit

when waves become white-caps
when a boat engine idles
when trout jump at dragonflies

how the lake is a mile deep
how the water is pure
how the water is cold
how siltation feeds algal blooms

whether to enter the water step by step
whether to jump in one last time
whether to drink it

how it feels to fall asleep in the sand
what it's like to wake up minutes later

all the colors of blue


Bill Scheffel


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Language is the intersection of consciousness with society.

This is where our work must be done.

What work?

The unexpected. The dog that did nothing in the nighttime. The sentence that opened between one work and another, like the bronze door of a cathedral, to show the sea. The moon, her hair, his hand - anything you please. In other words: in other words.

- Robert Kelly, Beneath a Single Moon, pg 162

. . . . . .

"You write to create community, but in the act of writing you are taken out of community, and that's a paradox."

- Terry Tempest Williams


Various thoughts on community from experience with my own and other's writing groups or workshops:

Meditation community. Writing community. Both can be "sangha," - people sharing a similar path, providing honest, loving support.

There are many, many people who write or want to write.

I tell people: a writer is someone who writes.

Group can work with all forms of writing. A letter is a unique work published in one copy.

If "consciousness is shapely" as Robert Duncan once said, the aesthetic potential is there for everyone.

The Hopis had no word for "art"