From the Flume and The Cormorant, 2 poems by Barbara Tifft

From the Flume

The banks of the West Ausable River

Is a place you’ve never been.

Staring straight down into the flume

Violent bursts of water over

Great granite boulders mesmerizes

The boys, but I pull them back

To trek a well worn path through

Tall timothy, navigating our poles

Around brush and beaver dams,

Following the sound of gurgling river water

Till finally, finding still waters, they cast.



In mid-afternoon sun I’ve stared for an hour
At the lone cormorant perched twenty feet from shore
On the remains of a tree grounded into beach sand
After the latest storm.
One to two foot waves and a brisk breeze rock
The water-logged limbs, but she persists on the sun perch.
I often wonder how my mother withstood the nearly
Century long gale, through depression, world war, violence,
Illness and deeper loss.
Here along the Verona shore,
The cormorant clings to the tree’s trunk.
The wind’s velocity blows her feathers back from her body,
But the bird remains, riding with the ebb and flow,
Teaching those who will watch, an ancient lesson.

Barbara Tifft
Barbara Tifft is a native of Northern New York. She is a graduate of SUNY Oswego with a BA in English-Writing Arts.

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