Three Sister Islands*
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.
*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."