Seven Falls Poem and Painting

Seven Falls

Time is a thin veil here, 
      where the mountain plays catch with the creek
      tossing it into the air seven times and bringing it to rest in
      seven cold emerald pools.
      It is fun to imagine all of the others 
      who have climbed this sandstone jungle gym 
and slid down these mossy water slides…

Look at these shadows of Chumash kids laughing here 
      hundreds of years ago 
      as if it were yesterday.
            What do they call the “cannonball” 
            in a world of stone tools, I wonder,
      as they leap from that ledge with a splash
      long before Fremont’s soldiers pushed cannons 
over muddy San Marcos Pass.   

Look at those Franciscan monks  
      sneaking upstream from the Mission below
      through the oaks and sycamores
      to strip down and lighten up 
      long before the city sprouted below 
and oil platforms invaded the horizon.

And look now at the evolution of the swimsuit styles
      that the swimmers have donned here for the last hundred years,
      from striped long-underwear to bikinis
      on the families of ranchers, fishermen, oil workers and 
      now suburbanites and college kids.
      They appear and disappear in strobe light flashes 
like an old grainy filmstrip before these lovely pools.

Different swimmers on common ground…
We’re all still here in one form or another, 
      the natives and the pioneers.  
We’ve all come to bring out our inner amphibian—
      to dive beneath the cold living water 
      with our much older ancestors
      the frogs and salamanders… 
Feels so good, doesn’t it?
      …to crawl out on our bellies 
      and warm our blood 
      on these radiant sandstone benches 
freckled here and there with fossils.
Seven Falls
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3 thoughts on “Seven Falls Poem and Painting”

  1. Very descriptive !

    Where is seven falls? I want to be part of the parade of humans through time and feel the warmth of sandstone and life.

    Darrel

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