Great Cataract Sublime by Rich Roach

great cataract sublime
Aerial view of the Niagara River Whirlpool and Rapids. Photograph by Andrew Porteus
Niagara Falls, great cataract sublime,
    Whose mists, like dragons, curl against the sky;
O thund’ring god, whose movement over time
    Has gouged a mile-wide path, where seagulls fly
And trace your giant steps, each twist and turn,
    Down yawning gorge to where the whirlpool boils
Beneath the dancing rapids — wild they churn,
    Twisting, as round great rocks the river coils —
Why now the tears? The thousand voices sighing?
    Do you not hear the reverent silence? Awe
And fear upon each frozen tongue? The dying
    Exhalations of spirits, which, like straw
        Before the winds, are strewn to airy silence?
        You hear, you see, with pity not defiance.

Source: The author, 2001.

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