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Beyond the Falls

by Darren Swift

A rocky ledge on a cliff.
a waterfall between them and her
she shivers beyond the spray.

semi-naked she stands -
a platter of half told tales in her hands.

the crowd can see her,
the many shout directions
in which she should go;
but the words are lost in the noise.
she hears snatches, fragments.

The many are fearful of approaching
in case the water rushes
them away to their doom.
They wave and point,
sending her on paths
they think she should take,
but the torrent refracts and bends -
the shapes she perceives
cannot possibly be her guides.

But it is only water,
life-giver, replenisher;
One man reaches through,
places a hand on each shoulder.

Only then does he impart his advice,
in a hushed whisper,
heard above the falls:-

"What's best for you, only what's best for you"

He returns to his side of the falls.

A moment passes before she smiles,
a collective gasp from the crowd
as she steps from safety.

A freshly born water phoenix she flies
above the watching faces,
she turns and heads for sunrise
leaving yesterdays behind.


Author's Note: This was written for someone last year but never had an ending - time has passed, she has flown - become a tree, lain down deep roots. The tale now has an end and I am pleased.

Posted on 03/17/2006
Copyright © 2022 Darren Swift

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Brian Francis on 03/17/06 at 02:12 PM

nince inlay of mythos and imagery of life. You've crafted an interesting and pleasant piece of work. Thanx --bf

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 03/20/06 at 07:19 AM

James, your tale reaches my heart because the last stanza feels like my life. Your words take my breath away with their simplicity and beauty. And, don't we all like endings that are really not that at all, but beginnings of something that grows out of the old?

Posted by Amy Niggel on 04/05/06 at 06:16 PM

Wow I love the feeling of this poem. It is definately going to stick with me today and probably past. I am very glad I read it, I'll have to poke around your library some more. (I'll admit it I came in because you have my last name)

Posted by Ava Blu on 08/21/07 at 11:54 PM

I love this.

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