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Robert Butler

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Storyboards, Illustrations, Music Videos, London, UK

I hunt for water but am never thirsty.

I see to the edge of time and space but understand nothing.

Visions pass through me.

In the high places the air is doled out meanly

and our hearts labour to make something of it.

Here where aridity brings clarity

the observatories are beached like arks on mountain-tops.

The familiar is left behind on the plains below

as they search for us, for the knowing wink

of planets transiting distant stars,

a homely signature, an aqueous thumbprint.

We carry within us our little oceans, a simple bond.

Water is the pretty medium of the world. A neutral state, borderless.

It doesn't nail its colours to any one mast

but collects bloody sunsets, builds rainbow bridges for all who can afford to see,

puts a shine on the roads, runs itself down into blue lakes and green ponds.

After the raindrops have been counted out,

stand in vertiginous tip-toe at a puddle's edge to view our sky burials.

But beware the assassin host of anopheles over standing water

and how it is forever slipping between the cracks,

the rakish shadows it throws when spilt onto parched soil or sand.

Like damp paw prints seen leading away down the dried-out riverbed,

a Rorschach speculation of what beasts might be.

Sometimes an abruptly foul-mouthed flood, indifferently murderous,

sweeping all before it, but eventually settling to be clear of conscience.

It knows all that has transpired, but recalls nothing.

Its children are memorialised with blue ribbons and rosettes

pinned onto the chests of continents.

What could water dream of ?

Of flying maybe, of seeing what it has become,

a blue world scarved in clouds.

On the table-top the glass is still half-full.

It trembles to our touch.

Signing off for now, maybe we'll be in contact.


Blue Planet Blues