Wind, Water, Rock

by Octavio Paz

The water drills the rock,
the wind disperses the water,
the rock detains the wind.
Water, wind, rock.

The wind sculpts the rock,
the rock cups the water,
the water escapes and is wind.
Rock, wind, water.

The wind sings in its turnings,
the water murmurs in its going,
the rock unmoved says nothing.
Wind, water, rock.

Each is other and is nothing:
among their empty names
they pass and cease to be
water, rock, wind.

Translated from Spanish by Gerald Wesley Purdy.

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