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  • By Daniel Leach

Three Sister Islands*

Niagra Falls - Edwin Church

Again I sit, as I sat long ago,

Upon a rock, among the delicate ferns,

While all around, the rushing waters flow

In violent, impetuous heaves and churns,

Onward, toward the brink that looms nearby—

But here, in dappled light, a butterfly

Dances, as if it would, it could not know

One dark thought to which every heart returns.

Yet, it somehow can never feel as well

The passion which to moments we can bring,

That makes the eyes tear up and breast to swell,

To live and love in spite of everything—

Yes, one false step and we may plunge to death,

Or take from the rich air a long, deep breath,

And give the world what dreams no one can tell,

When from the spirit’s infinite depths they spring.

I stare into the streams that ‘round me rush,

O’er mossy stones into the gathering surge

That roars beyond in torrents that can crush

All things that cross that fateful chasm’s verge,

And set afloat upon this gentle stream,

Like a fallen autumn leaf, this mortal dream,

Where it floats in a peaceful moment’s hush,

Before with what lies beyond, it will merge.

November, 2013

*The Three Sisters Islands are a string of small islands

extending into the upper Niagara river from the larger

Goat Island which sits at the very brink of Niagara Falls.

Although in close proximity to the violent rapids which,

With increasing speed and intensity rush toward the falls,

And within view of its mists and hearing of its muffled

roar, nevertheless are like a small, peaceful paradise of

mossy rocks, ferns trees and flowers, with gentle rivulets

running among them, that belies their precarious situation.

Read part 1, "A Northern Summer Morning."

Daniel Leach is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and and poetry. His volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition, is entitled "Voices on the Wind."

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