Cholock, why do you rush?

A Youthful Poem By John P. DeGrazio 

Witnessing the thunderous crashing of waterfalls in every corner of Yosemite Valley is a rite of spring that excites countless travelers from around the globe. Observing the growth and decline of Cholock (the Native American name for Yosemite Falls) each year always leaves visitors yearning for more when this ephemeral waterfall goes dry in summer. I wrote this poem in 2010 but have recently edited it to reflect my feelings as my oldest daughter turns eleven this week. I was withholding its publication until I found an appropriate photo to accompany it. Yesterday, I had the opportunity hike the Upper Yosemite Fall trail and waited for the clouds to cooperate. I thanked them.


Cholock Yosemite Falls Half Dome
Yosemite Falls with Half Dome Peaking through the Clouds by John P. DeGrazio

Cholock, why do you rush?

When I was an older young man,
I would shout at waterfalls and their impetuous mist.
Now I am a younger old man,
So I quietly lament time lost in your exuberant wake.
Cholock, why do you rush?

You appear when the first water breaks from the October sky.
Your arrival is wildly anticipated and joyously celebrated.
The earth shakes as you make your splash in this world.
Autumn is your spring.
Cholock, why do you rush?

You begin to swell with the melting winter snow,
And you run before you learn to walk.
Endless tears flow from your thunderous cries.
You are loudest before you find your voice.
Cholock, why do you rush?

You impatiently surge through life’s many turns.
With  boundless energy and unlimited growth,
You flow everywhere and nowhere at all.
Your prime arrives without direction.
Cholock, why do you rush?

As spring turns to summer, your strength begins to fade.
Without warning, your energy abandons you,
And you are hushed while you retreat into an empty silence.
Cholock, why did you rush?

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