April is the 25th Anniversary of National Poetry Month

story and photos by Derek Doeffinger

I occasionally read poetry, infrequently write it, but, until now, never show it. But sometimes age trades inhibition for inspiration, and spring in the Finger Lakes offers plenty of inspiration. And while I don’t belong to the American Academy of Poets (originators of National Poetry Month), for better or worse, I will share a poem. It even rhymes at times. Just don’t ask me to sing.


Spring waterfall in a gorge


Water spills and falls and leaps for joy.

Jumps from clouds and spreads its wings

to crash and splash and spray a gloss

on leaves, on rocks, on petals, and other things.

Then slips along a stem, shivers off a flower,

slithers along a crevice, totters atop a moss,

and then whispers to gravity about a ploy

to join their forces, unleash their power

to tug on the hill, to pound until it shatters.

Then sweep rocks, trees and debris down the hill

into the stream; toss in the forest just for the thrill

and watch the water fall and tear itself into tatters.





Derek Doeffinger spent a few decades at Kodak explaining how people can take better pictures and then encouraging them to use Kodak products — especially digital cameras. That last part didn’t quite work out. Fortunately during his Kodak days he became an obsessed outdoor photographer, especially of Finger Lakes waterfalls. He’s written several photos books about the Finger Lakes and digital photography, and now has written quite a few articles for Life in the Finger Lakes.

1 Comment

  • Kathy Purc says:

    Your poem captured both the reckless power of a waterfall and its gentle attention to detail as it “slips along a stem, shivers off a flower”. Wonderful images, literary and digital!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *