Behind the Waterfall
Once, when the word amorphous was a good way
to depict mind, and waterfall
was a good way of describing inspiration,
when every conglomerate of pumice held a face,
when clouds were zoos, when dreams were consultations,
she met a rock, cold and glossy black,
the way rocks are behind waterfalls, those who
in their gleaming immobility refuse to admit
that ten thousand years ago they might have been
perhaps slightly more pliable and that even theoretically
there could exist a smidgen of free floating beauty
in the world.
For a long while they stood there regarding each other
she of gossamer, he of sneer; look she said, I see
a face behind the waterfall, that cave a mouth
and inside lurks a demon. The cave laughed, a rumbling.
Brave into the curtain if you dare, behind lie tree trunks,
creepers, crystalline formations are buried deep
within a tunnel that slopes down to a chamber
full of animals made of ice, palaces and spires, where
drop by drop over a million years you may observe
the wonders of the world as they are formed. Come,
brave the curtain, spend a moment of eternity’s clock
and I will show you how air turns into vapor,
breath into liquid, water into ice, how all solidifies
seemingly quiescent as if it always was.
I’d love that, she replied but unfortunately I cannot.
I have clouds to decipher, dreams to interpret, Jupiter is
in my fifth house – and the griffins need to be fed.
The demon laughed again. Go then he rumbled. Return if
doubts distress you, should you feel the need for bedrock.
I’ll still be here behind the curtain, writing eternity’s
history drop by frozen drop.
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© Johnmichael Simon