Cascadilla Falls
by A.R. Ammons

I went down by Cascadilla
Falls this
evening, the
stream below the falls,
and picked up a
handsized stone
kidney-shaed, testicular and

thought all its motions into it,
the 800 mph earth spin,
the 190-million-mile yearly
displacement around the sun,
the overriding

of the galaxy w/ the 30,000
mph of where
the sun's going:
thought all the interweaving
into myself: dropped

the stone to dead rest:
the stream from other motions
rushing over it:
I turned

to the sky and stood still:
I do
not know where i am going
that I can live my life
by this single creek.

Note on the text:
The single creek in this case is located in Ithaca, NY, one of two (the other is Fall Creek) which cut 100-foot-deep gorges through the Cornell University campus where Ammons teaches poetry. Much to my Texan friend Martin's chagrin, Cascadilla rhymes with Magilla Gorilla, not manzanilla. While I was attending Cornell, a passed-out co-ed rolled off a frat house terrace and fell 80 feet into Cascadilla gorge. She walked away with only a broken arm, having landed, some say miraculously, on a pregnant racoon. The story was reported locally but didn't make the national news until several weeks later when I chanced upon it in the Weekly World News. Now I know that everything they report must be true.

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