The Waterfall


The Waterfall

No ordinary water
fall was this. In leaping
torrents we were taken
to the world’s end weeping.

Something secret whispered
its warning in your ear:
Don’t fall again
! renounce
falling’s ecstatic pleasure

Falling, falling, falling
like windtossed leaf, like fish
in these wild waters churning
were anybody’s wish!

Abyss of boiling waters,
the bliss of it below,
the gurge, the surge, the urge
the love of all things low!

And here a boat came bobbing,
bobbing the other way—
away from the dark falls
and the dangerous day.

And in the boat sat one
and out he stretched his hand
to you in those wild waters—
an angel from beyond!

Out of the black abyss
of waters lifted he
your body and sick soul
and fetched you to safety

and all the others went
over the roaring falls
leaping in ecstasy
down the watery walls

down to the rocks below
down to the sobbing stones
down to the bloodsplashed spikes
down to the splintered bones.