poetry and prose about place

pool at the base of the waterfall

with 6 comments

Have you ever had trout nibble at your toes?

When I was a teenager, my family was fortunate to own a woods property with a brook and a substantial waterfall.  We had a cabin there, built by my Dad.

The brook was wide and shallow, running through mixed woods.  It was a torrent in the spring, but in summer it ran gently through the trees, bordered by mossy hummocks, accented with small pools and riffles.

I remember the first time I saw the waterfall.  We were looking for a woods property and a farmer offered to show us some of his land.  I was exploring a particular area, following the bank of the stream, when I first heard the roar of the falls and saw the bright froth of water through the trees.  I couldn’t believe it when the owner said, without hesitation, we could have that lot for our cabin.

The falls were substantial, spilling about 15 feet over a dip in the shale substrate.  They spread outward from the lip of the falls, creating a broad triangle of white, laid across the rock like a veil.  The roar of the water falling was constant and intense.

'waterfall and pool'

At the base of the waterfall was a pool, waist deep.  The water was headache cold, but once we became used to it, we could swim and cool off on a summer day.  The pool was transparent as glass, and we could look down and watch the trout nibbling at our toes.  In spite of the dramatic turn of my poem below, the trout were not voracious and their nibbles were butterfly kisses.






mist and mosses

colour the air

where the waterfall leaps

green in the mumble of water


I stand waist deep

in the fall-fed pool

bubbles cling to my legs

to the hairs on the back of my knee


droplets of air above water are nothing




the soles of my feet

slide on the slate

search for softer

pockets of sand


trout kiss my ankles


I try to see

but the surface is silver

a dome reflected

of maple and sky




a green leaf settles

a pine needle spins

striders press dents on the water




I need to see the trout

I bend my face to the water

press on the skin

push through the meniscus


my nose is severed from my face




I am the pond


I cannot move

I cannot breathe

my hands are numb

my heart squeezes within me


I cannot believe

the trout have taken

great gashes of leg

my toes are slashed by the slate


I look up through the water

its surface a circle of silver




fish gnaw at my toes

bubbles grate at the back of my knee

tears under water are nothing



© Jane Tims 1992

Written by jane tims

September 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

6 Responses

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  1. I like this poem….comes across as very energetic and the words used really take you along the memory. Also your water sketch…quite animated. Reminds me of the same style I see in the Hardy Boy books from time to time. All in all nicely done Jane.



    October 10, 2011 at 9:40 am

  2. What a wonderful memory, well-done in verse and sketch!

    Each of us have certain memories that stand out in our minds from years ago. You captured this one quite nicely.


    Watching Seasons

    September 28, 2011 at 8:00 pm

  3. Nice, I felt like I was there, wonderful, chilli indeed, thank you, much appreciated, WS



    September 27, 2011 at 8:41 am

    • Hi. Thanks, I appreciate the comment… it is hard to know from the writing end how a poem will be recieved. Jane


      jane tims

      September 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

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