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“Feeling Chateaugay” oil painting by R Gregory Summers (See link below)

It’s Amaya here tonight and, well, we just have to jump right into it. Let me first off tell you about my experience with “cascade.”

As an unofficial initiation back in college, groups of students would head north of town to a narrow gorge known as Cascade Canyon, to complete the ‘C’ of the “ABC” rite of passage, after jumping off Adrenalin Falls and Baker’s Bridge into the rivers below. This gorge was cut by Cascade Creek, a high mountain snowmelt-fed stream –frozen solid for over nine months a year– and only saw the sunlight for a little over an hour on an average summer day. 

The thrillseekers had to hike down a steep ravine bringing nothing that couldn’t get wet, and enter the canyon’s gauntlet where there would be no turning back even if one got too scared or too cold. The canyon featured a series of small waterfalls, natural slides, snaking pools through which one swam quickly before full-body numbness from the frigid water, rockclimbing, and the final plunge into the last pool where the canyon opened up and the newly initiated could warm up slightly by hiking fifteen minutes back to the car, sans towel or dry clothes of course. 

Here’s a video I came across in case anyone wants to virtually run it:

Our prompt tonight asks you to incorporate the word “cascade”, or reflect on its metaphysical significance of a multi-level fall, or write a shape poem showing us a picture of a cascade. And, even though we’re not technically “Meeting the Bar” tonight with a set form, a bonus challenge is to write a cascade form poem with however many stanzas you choose. If you choose to “run Cascade”, the form looks like this:




You may recycle either full lines or modify the form to use only a word or phrase from the original lines. You can choose a rhyme scheme or have unrhymed lines, but the motive should be to go for a tiered, cascading effect. 

I’ll leave you with this poem, ‘Woman and Child’ by Judith Beveridge and her cleansing yet slightly sad “cascades of laughter.”

They listen to the myna birds dicker in the grass.

   The child’s blue shoes are caked with

garden dirt. When he runs, she sees the antics

   of a pair of wrens. She works the garden,


a pot of rusting gardenias has given off its ales

   and infused the danker germinations of her

grief. She watches her son chase pigeons,

   kick at the leaves piled high. Now, a magpie


adds to his cascades of laughter as he runs with

   the hose, pours a fine spray, happy to be giving

to the grass this silver courtship. She sighs,

   watches the drops settle in. Today, who


can explain the sadness she feels. Surely this

   day is to be treasured: the sun out, the breeze

like a cat’s tongue licking a moon of milk;

   her son expending himself in small, public


bursts, happy among clover where bees hover,

   and unfold centrefolds of nectar. Today,

who can explain the heaviness in her head, as if

   all her worries were tomes toward a larger work,


one she knows she will never finish, but to which

   she must keep adding, thought by thought.

She sweeps the petals, smells their russet imprint.

   Soon dusk will come with an envoy of smoke


and her son outlast her patience by a rose.

   Already he is tiring, puling at the flowers.

It won’t be long before they’ll go in, listen

   to the jug purr comfort. He’ll sleep and she’ll


lie back, or get up to unhook the cry of her cat

   from the wire door. Now, a few cicadas are idling,

giving each other the gun and a cockatoo calls,

   a haughty felon. She sighs, knowing she won’t


escape her mood today, the turned earth

   or its rank persuasions; her child’s petulance

flaring like an orchid, or a cockatoo’s unruly crest.

   Today, she knows she will need to consider


her unhappiness, of what she is a prisoner – if not

   the loss of hope’s particulars. Her son soaks

the path, rinses the sky of its featureless blue.

   He is giving that water, now, to everything.

(Source: poetryfoundation.org)

Veterans of dVerse and the unofficially uninitiated alike, I look forward to seeing your take on the cascade, in whichever variation you wish to flow with it. Instructions are as follows:

•Write a poem and post to your blog.

•Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below.

•A banner will ask you to “Check to accept use/privacy policy”. 

•There you will find links to other participating poets.

•Read and comment on their work, and be sure to check back in the following 48 hours for more entries.

•Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog and encourage your readers to engage.

•Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.

(Image source: rgregorysummers.com)