Once I thought I could find
where it began
but that never happened
though I went looking for it
time and again
cutting my way past
empty pools and dry waterfalls
where my dog ran straight up the stone
like an unmoored flame
it seemed that the beginning
could not be far then
as I went on through the trees
over the rocks toward the mountain
until I came out in the open
and saw no sign of it
where the roaring torrent
raced at one time
to carve farther down
those high walls in the stone
for the silence that I hear now
day and night on its way to the sea
— W.S. Merwin, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Shadow of Sirius (2009, Copper Canyon Press), used by permission of the publishers.
Copyright © 2017 by W. S. Merwin.
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Featured photo by Larry Cameron, used with permission.