When the dam burst – Chris Hall

And swift it came onto the parched and brittle land,
the lifting latch of turf to pour in sudden sluice,
and down the dam wall came, while cursing all
that passionless void which reigned before.
And kiss engulfed, this famished writhing land,
with dry stalks long, wrung up their tears from earth,
to join the sweetly flooding song.

So long had we waited, obeying the lack,
a thousand dry years folded in abeyance,
had deprived us, of something keenly near,
this dark and fathomless depth of water,
stretched so long before us weeping,
slow through our dam wall, just waiting,
for this thunderous quench to fall.

And now we are here, knee deep and dripping,
our old ways drenched, our sacred feet washed anew,
our faces wet with tears, our relief, defying all defeat,
for, what tragedy took, the inundation gave.

Now the river breathes once more,
the fishers swoop, the lark, the turn
of life has run in melodious flow,
the riddle jangle over rocks, and greening of banks,
and greener still the mosses,
the frieze of dried canvas land, now acquiesced
to the petrichor smell of dampened loam.

How crucial – from out the crack in sterile wall,
should come this flourishing pronouncement;
and could we know who, this kiss of life is for?
And out of that momentous breaching of grief,
we’d see such longed for sweetness released,
from all the brittle whispering, of a life we knew before.