You are my water-store
the sluice and pour
restoring land 
that brings on growing things
from refreshed dust.

You are the rush, hydration
push of moistened earth,
drops that soften air,
make the latent burgeon into birth.

You are the silent pool, stretching
black and still across the years,
drop by drop the added splash
of tears, spill of pain
I fed you in my drowning.

Full, you drifted, full, currents washed you
here, there, till you landed at my feet,
felt rock solid for the first time,
tasted drought in air that tasted
sweet to one ready to pour -
dam hard to breach.

But in the surging rush that came,
all my seeds and pods, whorls and shells
burst their skins: living tissue tasting
strong nutrition in your rain, 
rivulets that ran and ran,
tides force-fed the land, 
towering waves that ate the shore
churned the earth, tumbled mud -
vast watering that changed
cracked orange to black.

You made growing, breathing things
of lushness and moist palms
where before was dry, a brittle
Africa of drought, parched by scorch
and scoured by gritty winds. 

I drink the water, drink it in unsatisfied -
your tide is not enough
to fill those years of dust and dearth.
Rain on the tongue a benison,
and flush of skin a tender thing that
smoothes the landscape, drips the pores,
fills cracks and pocks, embalms the sores.

Vast leveller and sealer: pitted earth
will all be glass, and life undersea
blue from ochre that needs not
the sulphur air. 

All shrivelled grains have
split their husks and
food begins to push above
to flourish in the refreshed land.

Your water, water, everywhere
I drink it in, drink in your giving
force of life grows rich and strong.

Thick seams of wheat
spread prairie overland
and I wait, wait, 
happy at the reaping in due season
for at last the rains have come.

I wake from dream, to dawn
and find my new land fresh,
a new land green and heavy with wet loam.

These fields are ripe and spreading
and the wind that blows is cool.
A lone heron stalks and sings
sings a water-song.
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