Sparked by Words

Spilled Water


A few ounces of water barely fill a glass

Transparent, silent, static at the bottom

Topple the cup, and water flows everywhere

The surge of ounces conveyed quick as a tide

Saturating the books on the shelf, soaking their pages

A clumsy accident we say, and maybe that’s true


Grab the nearest cloth and press dry each book

Yet the pages between covers remain damp

They’ll dry in an hour or three, curling like waves

Each sheet bearing a permanent water stain

Dusk gray or dove wing brown as pages shrivel

The rippled intaglio of having been doused


We harbor truth within our heart’s deepest coves

It slumbers quiet as a secret tucked in a locket

While hate flows from our tongue, lashing blindly

A snake hissing danger at the edge of reeds

Sorry is a sibilant word, sliding soft from our mouths

Like fire, water burns and leaves a riven scar


Just a thought 58



Image of glass of spilled water courtesy Max Pixel,  CCO Public Domain



Comments on: "Spilled Water" (34)

  1. OK, I got stuck with the first line. What about a shot glass? Hmm???

    Moving on, there is a lot of depth in this poem, Shari. ‘Spilling water’ is quite a metaphor for so much in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I spilled a glass of water on a shelf filled with books after an evening during which I’d said something I deeply regret. As I rarely drink, and never hard liquor, I would never had thought of a shot glass. But your suggestion is well taken – I’ll think about it and may make a change. Thanks for your input, Jacqui. Wish I’d run this by you before publishing. How was your Thanksgiving?


  2. A most powerful metaphor, Sharon, and a wonderful poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW!!! Okay, exclamation point abuse is not a pretty thing, but in this case they’re earned. I am seriously impressed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re one of the very few readers who commented about this poem. (I don’t get a lot of readers, either, but that’s another story.) It’s made me wonder that I didn’t connect with people. Thank you, Cathleen, for uplifting me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Water and fire are powerful elements in nature that bring both good and bad into our lives. A lovely thought, Shari!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. beautiful – such a poignant subject – the idea that an apology can never totally erase…


  6. Love this Sharon. What a great metaphor.
    I have always preached about the way people can so easily utter hurtful or hateful words, yet words of love, gratitude, and forgiveness are rarely expressed. And a real heartfelt apology
    well, that went out the window with chivalry, politeness, and romance.

    I have never done this before, but I read this post and thought of you. No need to read or get back to me. Just letting you know I remembered you.


  7. Beautifully said. And I learned a new word ‘intaglio’


  8. Love the metaphor here Sharon. I particularly liked your third verse. It is easy to say sorry but so much harder to undo the hurt that it has caused.


  9. Like water will always leave a stain on paper no matter how little we spilled and how much we try to repair the damage, words of anger can have the same effect, even when taken back. I think we all experience that in one way or another and only few make the effort to repair the harm done by their words. Sorry seems to be the hardest word in the world.

    As it happens, I really hate when I accidentally spill water over books! Luckily this does rarely happen. 😊


    • It’s indeed regretful when a clumsy move spills a glass of water all over the place. The year after I destroyed my elbow, I couldn’t control my hand/arm movements and frequently spilled my water glass – thankfully, I rarely drink anything else. Bad as it can be to damage a treasured book, an artwork, a rare antique, it’s the damage caused by my clumsy mouth that I really regret and can never fully repair. I’ve regained better control of my arm, but my mouth – needs stronger tape sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don´t be too hard on yourself, Shari, we´re all humans and thus prone to do mistakes, I think. Being able to regret is a very good start, to be strong enough to talk about it is even better. There are many things and words in my life that I wish I could take back, but as it is not possible, I try to concentrate to balance them out with new words if the opportunity arises.


      • You’re right of course. Regret does temper what we say and do in future encounters, but it’s the unexpected that throws me.

        Liked by 1 person

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