Plumbing the Depths

Plumbing the Depths

Today is blog action day 2010 and the theme is water.

Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

But, water moves beyond just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue, an animal welfare issue, a sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, deserving a global conversation.‘ (source: blog action day website)

I found out about Blog Action Day via Crafty Green Poet and Selma in the City – two bloggers who have posted about water. Go and check them out if you have the time.

I have written this poem for the theme of water (warning: rough draft quickly written given short notice).

My hometown of Brisbane (used to be anyway) has recently come out of a long drought so the residents have been thinking a lot about conserving water, but this is not always the case and it’s something we all need to think about, all the time.

Plumbing the depths

Tap runs while teeth are cleaned.
Toilets flush away our waste.

Vegetables boil to death
while salt gets thrown out with the water.

Liquid soap disinfects
imaginary dangers

then flows down the drain
to join the other toxins.

The dishwasher hums its pleasure
with the bountiful flow.

The bubbler bubbles
its magic.

Plastic bottles of water jostle each other
for our attention in the corner store fridge,

waiting for us to fall for them.

Bathtubs can’t believe their luck
when filled to the brim with liquid gold

and bubbles.

Pot plants sigh in delight
when the watering can hovers.

The driveway laughs its head off
when getting a wash.

Water saturates a day

but thoughts of water evaporate
as quickly as they come.


Video for Blog Action Day 2010: Water

21 thoughts on “Plumbing the Depths

    1. It is a shame Crafty Green Poet, and it is only a recent thing – throughout history people have always been aware of the importance of water because they knew their lives depended on it.

  1. Your blog is amazing!!! I’m a new follower all thanks to Blog Action Day! I too participated, but I really enjoyed your take on the whole thing. Plumbing the depths was amazing!

  2. Since I live in SoCal which is pretty much a desert, I am appalled by the large number of homes that insist on having green grass…wasting large quanities of water for the illusion of life in the midwest….thanks for your poem.

  3. Live on a boat for a while… we really learn about conserving water and power… but then…

    Old yachties never ever die,
    They simply fade away.
    Remember, though you think he’s dead
    He only smells that way!

  4. In a strange way, the drought we experienced here in Brisbane, was the best possible way to educate people about the need to conserve water. Sad that it takes our dams shrinking to less than 17% capacity to make people take notice!

  5. i didnt know about the water situation in brisbane, hope all is well there now. yes, conservation is an important subject, and water is so, well, beautiful and flowing, and deserves full respect, great poem!

    1. The dams are full now and just a couple of days ago they had to release water because of the risk of flooding – how times change. This is typical Australia – drought followed by flood, then drought again. Thanks tipota 🙂

  6. The Sydney dams are only 50% full at the moment and I still see people hosing down their driveways. Your image of the driveway laughing really hit home for me. Hosing concrete seems so unnecessary to me. Why not just sweep it?

    Your last two lines sum up the entire problem and in a way are quite chilling. Gone as quickly as they come. How very true.

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