Robert Bringhurst

Death By Water

It was not his face nor any
other face Narcissus saw
in the water. It was the absence there 
of faces. It was the deep clear
of the blue pool he kept on coming
back to, and that kept on coming 
back to him as he went to it, shipping
out over it, October after October
and every afternoon,
walking out of the land-locked summer,
out of the arms of his voice,
walking out of his words.

It was his eye, you may say,
that he saw there, or
the resonance of its color.
Better yet, say it was what
he listened for – the low
whisper of light along the water, not
the racket among the stones.

Li Po too.  As we do – though
for the love of hearing
our voices, and for the fear of hearing
our speech in the voices of others come back
from the earth, we speak while we listen and look
down the long blue pools of air that come towards us and say
they make no sound, they have no 
faces, they have one another’s eyes.