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tree meditations and others 239
at his distance. The dragon
in the falls is a kind of summary, and like the rainbow
in the spray it is vivid
with an intrinsic distantness....
Beware the Dragon, I tell myself, as we are entering
the outskirts of the mist and din.
On the spray-slick rocks,
we watch the thing once more. How slowly it bends
at the top, then parts
as it leaves the basalt shelf
into heavy strands that speed up promptly and start to tear apart,
losing shape as they push harder
into the air, falling faster and faster
and in your last glimpse dropping like lightning, headlong,
disintegrating into the roar.
Fast as it happens, you can watch it
all the way down; you feel yourself involuntarily jerking back
at the last moment,
when the water goes on to smash itself
among rocks invisible but for a dark place now here, now there,
that suggests the snout swaying --
vivid with your attentive presence
at the danger, the near-far roaring of the dragon (or say heavy
machinery) back in the nature of things....