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JoAnn Ralph Visual Artist

Early Work
The Artist
Guest Artists


By night he walked by the water of the Aegean,

so much cleaner, so much fresher,

those two and a half millennia ago than now;

and as he walked he didnt so much look at the water

as listen to it; and as he listened to it

he thought also that he was listening to himself,

for from water he was made, he was sure,

he and all other living beings.


Whats more, because he knew that water

was the one thing needful,

because he knew it was the one thing

no being could live without,

from the very lowest to those who, more exalted,

were able to dwell on what it is to be a being

and so dwell on what beings are made from

in all the vastness of Being in which they were a part,

he knew also that water was the one thing sacred,

and so knew that every being in Being,

because it was made from the one thing sacred,

was sacred too, as he said.


By night he walked by the water of the Aegean and,

a being in all the vastness of Being, listened to it.

How grateful am I for that.


Written by D.M.





At Normandy


For a time that evening

we rode horses that,

large and powerful and black,

thrilled to the salt sea air

and the sound of the crashing waves

as they bore us

and because wed not ridden before

and so didnt know how to stop them

(nor were there reins, even, for our hands)

we went at a furious pace

and at times his horse was in front

and at times my horse was in front

and as they gave way one to the other

we who clung to their sweat-soaked necks

and propulsive bodies

looked to each other now in terror now in rage

while asking ourselves how O how

would all this fury stop

when suddenly of their own

the horses simply stopped themselves

and turned to go back more slowly,

more quietly, more calm,

over the long way wed come

but in deeper darkness now and a beginning rain that,

as it fell, washed us all -

man, beast and terrible debris

tossed from the littered sea.


Written by D.M