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A Waterfall  

by James T. Stemmle

there’s a gathering of spirits
at waterfalls and other discontinuities
the water flows along smoothly
in its shallow basin on its way
as god intended flowing to the sea

but suddenly the bottom falls out
and gravity pulls imparting energy
fracturing streamlets blowing
mist into extreme evaporation
throwing moisture

if it weren’t for the spirits
it would devolve down to physics
and chemistry and nature’s other rules

most spirits bring their bodies
to stand for a moment’s awe

it takes a while for the water
to get calm again gather itself
droplets falling from branches
finding their way back to the flow

what was that it might say
to itself and continue peacefully
once again to the sea


James T. Stemmle is an old man, currently living in retirement in West Virginia with his wife. In warm weather, he writes poetry during morning meditations on a bench in his backyard, where it is so quiet that, depending on atmospheric conditions, he can sometimes hear interstate traffic four miles distant. His Southern connection, in addition to his Kentucky birthplace, is a son living in Durham, North Carolina. He had a federal government career mostly with the EPA and earned a doctorate from Catholic U in Chemistry. He is eager to share some of his accumulating poetry, currently enough to fill seven, one-inch binders and part of an eighth.

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