Chewing Water continues Nelson Ball's fascinating forays into the social, into communities of humans, after spending decades writing almost exclusively about nature. While mourning, loss, and decay are featuring more heavily than ever in his poetry, friendship, hope, and love are gaining on those themes. Nelson's poems concentrate on the tiniest things, the tiniest moments: a letter of the alphabet, an expired fly, a crack in a friend's wall, the tone of a friend's voice. While these poems are brief, the spirit behind them is expansive. This book is a landmark in the growing oeuvre of a Canadian poet whose influence has only grown over the decades.