Two installments ago, I began a journey to Glen Falls, and finally, I present images of the falls. The photo on the upper right is the exit of the rock tunnel I walked through in 2007 and saw the Graffiti that inspired my prize-winning poem, "Glen Falls Trail," The words, now erased by time, were "George Loves Lisa."
Those words marked the exit of the tunnel onto a wide ledge. The only way down is back through the tunnel. I took the photos on the upper and lower left from that ledge on August 3 of 2021. I then walked further up the trail to photograph the stream shown in the lower right photo.
In 2007, I entered the poem in a contest sponsored by the Tennessee Writers Alliance and won $250, the most I have ever been paid for a poem. I also received a certificate at the awards ceremony, which took place at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville. It took place the second weekend in October, just ten days after I underwent Coronary Bypass Surgery. Later this year, I will release a poster with the poem and a photo of the falls.Here is the poem:
Glen Falls Trail
I climb the limestone stairs
through an arch in rock,
into the earth's womb,
pass through to a surprise:
"George loves Lisa'
painted on a wall.
I wonder, did he ever tell her?
Did she ever know or think of him,
raise a brood of screaming children?
Did they kiss near wild ginger
above the stony apse?
Did lady's slipper orchids
adorn their meeting place
where deer drink
from rocky cisterns?
Did their love wither
like maidenhair fern,
delicate as English Lace?
The symbols have outlived the moment.
There is only today,
only the murmur of water underground,
my finding one trickle into a pool.
I never knew this, George or Lisa.
The rock bears their names in silence,
the stream forgot long ago.