Snoqualmie Falls


Image

Photograph by Paul Dorpat

The ground beneath my feet rumbles.
Softly at first, and then with each step
increasing in its timbre.

The air is damp and mossy with a gray light
filtering through the canopy of spruce and pine.
Wet thunder rises; my ears are muted
by the intensity of a river plummeting
over slick rock lips;
a roiling, massive death spiral.

Half the volume swan dives elegantly
hundreds of feet into a pounding foaming white pool,
while my pounding heart matches the outpouring,
beat for beat.
The other hangs mistily in the frigid air,
gently nourishing the brown-green algae with its spit.

I cannot help but marvel at the sheer anger of it all,
wondering how many open-mouthed bass
thrust forth into open space, gargoyle-eyed as
the river disappears beneath them,
recognize this as the end of their swim?

Death, anger, power…and yet
so serenely beautiful

Rage on, Snoqualmie,
before the winter’s freeze deprives you
of your liquid dance!

 

Summer Moonshine (by Dennis McHale, 2017)


Moonshine

I remember this story my daddy told,
when he was a young man
– most of his life he was a lay minister
in the Baptist church down Brevard way;
but when he was a young man
he was fairly rough and restless
and made a good deal of whiskey
and during the depression he and a cousin
– there was no work,
it was really hard times in them mountains ,
so they would load up this model A Ford
with wood carvings they had whittled some,
(in the winter when they was no farmin’)
and moonshine whiskey and travel to Washington D.C.
and there were street vendors, ‘fore the capital building
and they would have a little place there on the street
where they would sell wood carvings,
but I guess where the real money came from,
enough money to pay for the gasoline,
was from them selling a little summer moonshine
to the politicians, I ‘spect, to wash the shame down.