Stephen Horenstein
Music, Arts and Society

Meditation on water

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Meditation on Water 

*A poem for children–and the young at heart

high lo

to fro

strong, weak

proud n’ meek

it kills, it births

it’s tried ‘n it’s true

it’s grey then it’s blue

water full water

a nam-nami tsu…

it clears it muddles

it moves and it stays

it’s water and water

it’s here gone today

(of ninety-eight parts we all say).

it’s made for our hair

it maims ‘n it heals

it’s soft, it’s hard

it’s cold, it’s hot

and hot and it’s HOT!!!

it boils…

it cooks and it cleans

where shall it all go?

it travels as fast

as it wants us to go

it’s oceans, it’s streams

it’s fastest in dreams

it’s false, then it’s true

it’s all you, you and YOU

so water be blessed

or water be cursed

when poured from the heavens

when poured from the earth

with all of its glory

it washes away

as tears wash the pain

as laughter the tears

and tears…

as the rivers run deep

in mud like slow sleep

it’s water, cool water

it’s every dam’s shame

with no drops to drink

in desert and sun,

if water’s so pure

it’s so sad when undone.

(what’s pure, is it snow?

or tears and their drops?

or the snow flakes

from their tops?)

So where does this end

this one long endless note

when played

with two hands?

Cool cool clear water,

clear and clear water.

Egyptians they all drown’d,

with water all ’round,

or Jonah he swallowed a whale?,

“cause water,

clear water,

the Bible’s done tell us,

as good from the bad,

and the left from the right.

So let’s wind it up here,

on our old fashioned shore,

with waves and their calls,

all peaceful and nice,

or screams in the night,

more than twice!

The shore can be peace,

or shores can be fright,

I shudder to think

how they look deep at night.

The water it’s all good,

The water it’s all not,

Wherever winds blow

it’s what ties up the knot.

It’s water it’s here. It’s water it’s there.

It’s water, it’s water, it’s here everywhere!

Finito. The End. La fin.

Quintet No. 2 (Portals), by S. Horenstein; Meditation No. 1″ , solo flute, Roy Amotz; ASCAP/ACUM, all rights reserved. Recorded and performed live by the Tel Aviv Wind Quintet at the Festival de Chaillol, France.  (click the dark blue underlined link to hear the music)

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About the Author
Stephen Horenstein is a composer, researcher and educator. His repertoire of musical works has been performed and recorded worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Israel Prime Minister's Prize for Composers and the National Endowment of the Arts (USA). His teaching has included Bennington College, Brandeis University, Tel Aviv University, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance; residencies at Stanford University, York University, California Institute of the Arts, and others. He is Founder and Director of the Jerusalem Institute of Contemporary Music, established in 1988 to bring the music of our time to a wider audience.
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