You arrive on a Tuesday from Oregon,
and ten thousand little things are different.
It’s October and the trees are on fire.
The forest burns, starting to forge you from steel.
Your cheap suitcase cracked at the Mason Dixon,
just for the principle of it.
Try to paddle-board the Eno and the bass go belly-up:
That river’s for scattering ashes and making moonshine.
Your Kicks don’t leave footprints on these cobbled streets.
Even the children have old, leathery hands.
Tap water is metallic.
This must be the mineral that makes these people gold.
The five and dime is full of things the locals teach:
There isn’t anything a casserole won’t fix,
and all you’ll ever need is two hands:
for prayer, and work.
Tobacco keeps us breathing; cotton keeps us clothed.
History casts an even darker shadow than the Smokies here.
All they sell at Aldi is ethnic shampoo,
so now your hair smells like wood and fire
and twists like the roots you’ve lacked,
Life moves on like a cigarette’s drag.
Even if you have nothing, somewhere Hope’s fiddle strums.
Take off your headphones and
go put your ear to an oak.
The tyrant of the desert plains,
And the beast that lurks in the jungle,
Of eras long past,
The giants of times faded away,
As our mammalian cousins,
Trembled in burrows,
And dashed through swamps,
With his giant maw,
Lording over the land of dinos,
At least at face value
clear winding streams
divide wandering dreams
cool forests filled with evergreens
down twisted trail at deadfalls cross
I took rest upon soft bed of moss
in chorus with ever dimming skies
hear lone coyote's distant cries
fading echoes on the wind
his search and mine
will never end
Come with me,
Along this path:
Through the forest,
Towering over us on either side.
Smell the greenery
From countless birds.
Hope you feel engaged
As we stroll along.
And now the pathway branches out!
Six new paths,
Let’s take one.
Off we go.
We risk being lost.
Or horrors (!)
Will we find?
The woods suck us in,
Further and further forward.
Punctuated by pesky gnats.
Expect itchy red spots
When you get home.
Onward and onward.
Bees and butterflies.
Sun streaming through the branches up above,
Trees topped by fleecy white clouds.
At last – a clearing!
Can I hear the sea or just a lake?
Or is there a stream nearby?
I see a golden parting of the ways,
A little land beyond forever.
But what do You see???
If you want to find me,
You know I am easily found.
Sitting at the hideaway,
With the ocean breeze.
Under turquoise skies,
Kaena on North Side.
Out here by the sea,
And in forests,
Running along wild things,
Along mountain edges,
the cuckoo still sings
over the traffic smoke,
children still carve
forts by the sea,
gulmohars still bloom
over the widening road,
you could still stir early,
jog through frozen silences,
travel for an hour, still
bathe under a waterfall,
walk up a ruined hill fort,
watch the falling of meteors,
you could still save yourself,
here in this decay and filth,
you could dig up a little earth,
and ply a little spade on it,
feed it like a little child,
and make a tree out of it...
The Rockies sing to us at sunrise
when crystal snow-capped peaks
chant iridescent matins to the dawn,
the dawn of a fresh new mountain day.
Luminous pastel clouds
hover across the horizon
painting the hills and valleys below
in mysterial shades of
lavendar, amber and rose.
The Rockies sing to us at daybreak
when every crest and vale
unites in raising anthems to the dawn,
The dawn of a bright new mountain morn.
Forests and fields awaken.
A bull elk grazes by an alpine lake.
An eagle soars through the morning mist
over rainbows of Indian paintbrush.
A hilltop lake spills over its rim
and cascades down the slope
etching serpentine streams in the valley below.
We can hear the mountains singing.
In every creature, ridge and flower
They bring to us their jublilant songs
of wilderness, wildlife and wonder .
We can hear the Rockies singing.
The mountains sing forever!