The Waterfall (Portrait #6)

Dedicated to the Multnomah. Some still walk where you have tread.
Dedicated to the Multnomah. Some still walk where you have tread.

The train is always heard, cutting through waterfalls and springs. Only by standing close to the noise of water can the sound be heard. How does this waterfall speak?

Each splash that ricochets off a rock looks the same as the one before. Each is an individual word, related to, but not exactly the same word that came before. These words create a mist moistening her face, mingling with sweat. She licks her lips experiencing coolness combined with salt.

A blue sky sticks light into the conversation, peering down through spears of cedar and fir. It’s been blue for so long. She can’t remember the grey. Below her, where the gorge meets the sound of the trains, people laugh in the sun, drink long from large cups, burn with play. They have been playing every day, forever.

Here in the dark, next to the spring, the waterfall speaks to her. This is the place she had started from. This is where it began, before all the playing. The cool and dark always came from the ground, which now speaks the same words it always has, trembling next to her wet face.

Todd Baughman
Todd Baughman

23 Comments on “The Waterfall (Portrait #6)

  1. I have enjoyed wandering in the forest of your pages. My toes have been tickled with mossy whispers and your well-woven webs of adjective have tangled in my hair. I am now following your path through the mountains of sorrow and look forward to reading the pages you scatter behind you like autumn leaves.


  2. BEAUTIFUL! You DO Understand! I bet you tick off the people you grew up with, and other people around your community too! All because they think you are trying to say one thing with your work, but what you are trying to convey is something on a much Grander Scale…Your work INFLUENCES other people, even if they don’t understand Why your work INFLUENCES them. I’ve been running into the same problems too…Thank You for sharing your work with Me! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting use of the two photos (old and new, I guess?) to bracket your poem. More and more I see the necessity of that image-to-word synergy. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And, as ledged tells, in the icy times, “She” dressed in white, stands on the left side of the bridge, partially hidden by branches.
    You let us SEE such things with your Pen !


  5. I love waterfalls and these pictures are amazing finds. Beautiful presentation. I’d like to offer a suggestion to tighten up the lovely imagery of the last stanza:

    Here in the dark, next to the spring, the waterfall speaks to her. This is the place she started from, where sound began, before all the playing. Cool darkness rises from the ground which now voices the same words that tremble upon her wet face.

    Liked by 1 person

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