Water Fall

Swirling shallows rush indignantly past the dam and
then drop 800 hundred feet to the gorge below.
A sizzling bolt scars the indigo of the nocturnal desert sky.
It strikes, then topples the ancient and contorted fir-tree
(“Old Man” he is called by the Ones who live here)
into the boundless and unforgiving chute.
His broken limbs are first gathered up then flounced away.
Bursting and dancing,
he is swept through the thundering canyon,
riding through on the river’s back to his next world.
This awesome sign causes the Ones who live here to pause
with their hoops ‘round their shoulders
and sigh.

Inspired by Sherman Alexie’s poem “The Pow Wow at the End of the World” and using the words from the Sunday Whirl’s Wordle #26 (below)


7 responses to “Water Fall

  1. I loved the way you used the words. It saddened me too, to see the “old man” die…

    hanging my head

    • Thanks. I got the inspiration for “old man” from a tree we see toward the west and we’ve named him “old man.” He stands separately in the meadow, in front of the woods and is very tall and rather thin. Over the years the wind has stripped off many of his limbs, so he’s rather mis-shapen. When the strong coastal winds kick in, he dances around like a Watusi warrior, waving his arms all about! Someone built on his property and I heard that he had considered chopping old man down – thankfully his friend and neighbor talked him out of it.

  2. Wonderfully evocative poem; the connection the Ones have with the land on which they live is so vividly described in just a few verses. I half expected you to write that they followed the Old Man to his resting place so that they could honor his life by making ceremonial hoops of his wood.

  3. Oh, this is so beautiful. I love how you respond to Alexie’s piece. The third line is my favorite, and makes me wish I could see that bolt against a desert sky.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Brenda (and fellow Wordlers, too!) I haven’t been at this poetry thing long and sometimes I feel a bit out of my league. There’s a lot of real talent in this group! I was satisfied with this poem and I think I’m seeing improvement, with each piece.

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