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November Silence

 

This is the latest
I’ve stayed
up here on the mountain:
county road still open,
so here I am
thanks
to the light snow,
looking down
at the valley
brown sage
snow crowned
elk bedding down
day to day
here and there
like chess pieces
moving
on this giant
brown and white board.
The birds are gone
but for three ravens
who buzz the house
daily
knowingly
keeping tabs
on me…

Today a huge
hare
jumped
from behind
a boulder
white as snow,
the dog never even
noticed,
his awkward
somersault
made me smile.
The half moon
has been up
all day
like a totem
to clear skies
and tonight
Mars will glow
golden,
but the greatest
gift by far
is the long silence
like a drink
of life giving
stillness.

Gentle on the eyes
this autumn light
reflected
in endless
shimmering snow.
Walks
become muted
dances
light
on the feet
gentle
on the heart.

At dusk
the dog scans
the horizon
knowing
today’s scents
are done
and we are in
for the night,
warm
surrounded
by the promise
of another day
here
a far
a top
our quiet
universe.

Hoy

Night sky landscape and moon, stars, Ramadan Kareem celebration

en el medio
de la tarde
around 5
la luna
rose
a half diamond
crescent
emblem
crystal
reflected
in
crusty
ice laden
snow
como
un barquito
de vela
patas arriba
flotando
en un cielo
calmado
windless
no where
to go
but stuck
side swiped
for me to stare at
longingly
wishing
its glimmer
might
transform
me
into
una gotititita
de nieve
translusente
que le da
de beber
a nuestra
Pacha Mama,
agua dulce
song of earth
life
to all
creatures
still here high
in the mountain:
the elk sunbathing
in sage
drinking
in liquid
love
golden kisses
sleeping
without
a care,
total abandon
as ravens
sweep the prairie
speaking
in their magic tongues,
and somewhere not far
coyotes
cantan
como machos en fiesta
felizes
de torturar
la siesta
del perro….

En este momento
te pienso
y te mando
desde el monte
un abrazo imposible
que rompe
la distancia
y te lleva
agua pura
que toque
tu lengua
para que cantes
like the little
wild child
you once were
because
time cannot
crush
the spirit
of this new moon,
let it light
your heart
and heal:
this is my prayer
for you.

Elk Full Moon

Early in November,
of this horrid
ravaged
endless
crisis laden year,                                                                                                                                                                                 the universe
ever lost
in communal
world wide
angst
breath held
as torrid
hurricane winds,
fires
and a pandemic
raged
we waited
eyes shut tight
isolated
in our festering
cocoons
to see if sanity
might reign
again,
in these
misnamed
united states,
I watched
the moon
drift
over the range
late
full
in its autumnal glory
and prayed                                                                                                                                                                                  unabashed
like a once
faithful
child of god
any god
for light
laughter                                                                                                                                                                                                   joy
all so banished
to corners
of memories

 

so remote

fading
like fallen stars                                                                                                                                                                                 in the night.
I whispered
to the unseen
for guidance
a hand
across
this abyss
this vast
gray
year –we went to bed
weary
barely hopeful
silent,
but
in the cold of dawn
I woke
bare feet
barely grazing
the ground
as if lifted
by a great unseen
hand
and landed
at the door
staring
at the moonlit
scape
of elk
peacefully
grazing
and bedded down
not three feet
from the house.
I counted 30 cows
and young.
In the quiet of the night
I heard
their calls
strange mewling
whimpering
soft stomping.
The night
was still
so still
their musty scent
wafted
under the door,
but still the dogs
slept unaware,

I froze
in gratitude
for this sign
of fortitude:
wapiti
you answered
my desperate
call.
You are the
bearers of our cross:
heralds
of endurance
and patience.
In the moonlight
I watched
your steady stride
across the grass
graceful
direct
powerful gait,
and even
as the last
crossed
lame
slow
I knew in my heart
all was not lost,
what comes
goes
steady
slow
for
such is the journey,
and tomorrow
is never the same….

Deer on the foggy meadow at moonlight.

Wind Song

 

On the prairie
every day
without fail
the wind
whispers
sings
howls
wails
whispers
cries
speaks
demands
cajoles
seduces
embraces
lashes
vanishes
behind
the ridge
leaving
unspoken
words
mysteries
only
the aspen
fir
sage
decipher
while
my ears
heavy
deaf tone
try to
sift
no more
the wiser
yet
intuiting
such
ancient
wisdom
drinking
into
my heart
so
one
day
I may
drift off
into
a sudden
gust.

Lucky for us
two candidates
managed
to play
at debate
spouting
the usual
promises of
change,
too perfect deals
and
the typical
gobbledegook:
Early Halloween
costumed
up to the nines
in patriotism
empathy
apology
promising
the ever longer
list
of needed
un deliverable
desires
unabashedly
painted
in political
cliches:
phrases
dribbling off
the tongue
like so much
fluff.
Oh yes,
some vague
concessions
polite
side stepping
glances
askew
forced calm
smiles
tinged
with pomp
and
circumstance.

Words
come and go:
cheap
these days.
But in the end,
the only
real hero
was
the fly
on the wall.

Sometimes
as I stare out
over the prairie
I feel the stillness
of time:
its passage
caught
frozen
in one
bending
long
dry
wheat
colored
stalk:
not long ago
this field
was green
with life
wildflowers
in every
color
bright
in morning light,
small
unseen
creatures
scurrying
filling
their bellies
with summer
abundance.
The sun
has parched
the earth
day by day
so now
only
the raven
glides
in
dimming light
his loud
brash
cawing
announcing
the turning
of the tide.
Time stops
for no one
not even
the mightiest:
for they shall
be the first
to fall.

Look no further
than
arms length
and know
this too shall pass.

 

If I were to count
the times
I’ve rushed
into cold
night air
high
in the mountains
twisting
turning
craning
my tired
eyes
toward
your
beam
lifting
my arms
in dance
prayer
longing
as
your
golden red
halo
melds
into
the night sky
here
below you
we creatures
bow
fly
howl
run
freely
gifted
under
your
beaming
grace.

Pierce
me to the heart
I pray
hold me
gently
tonight
so
I may dream
yet
another day
waking
free
to
fly
over
the highest
ridge
until
you bloom
again.

River Walk

When the days
begin to shorten
mountain sun
strongest
late
in the afternoon,
cloudless
air so still
one hears
grasshoppers
in the long
dry grass,
it’s time
to journey
down
to the river
where
breezes
round
boulders
lifting
waves
to lap
round
tired
hot feet
small pools
of clear
water
satiate
thirsty
dirty
dog
drinking
dipping
lapping
tail
a brown
thin rudder
weaving
bobbing
in riffles
while
geese
gather
plotting
their long
migration
saddened
to leave
this
rushing
generous
summer
home:
long gone
are sandhill cranes,
mallards
and buffleheads,
flying
to more
bountiful
midwestern lakes.
But the osprey
still
drifts
overhead
eyeing
river
pockets
for elusive
trout,
diving
with precision
many a time
for
the rare feed.

Here
we rest
shaded
under
cottonwood,
watching
the day
drift by
as
sunset
looms
toward
mountains
west
of us,
refreshed
we wander
home
past
a small
feeder
stream
where
baby trout
once
held
early in summer
now
deep
in the river
learning
the art
of ignoring
beautifully
crafted
flies
so to live
till next
season
all
the wiser.

Not yet October and……

Slow
lazy morning
hoar-frost
new moon
tattooed
in gray sky
wet snow
cloaking
sage
translucent
shimmering
white
ready
for morning
waltz
with
northerlies,
clouds
too plump
and happy
to float
past
peaks
like
laying hens
sit
casting
shadows
on the valley.

The dog
stands
at the door
between
going
and
staying……

Inside
coffee aroma
pungent
sweet
announces
today
is a better day,
where
anything might
happen
on
our
ritual
morning
walk:
gifts
to be discovered
with
every step.

The change
in weather
doesn’t
disappoint
as the wind
shifts
sun finally
climbing
over
static clouds
warming
our necks,
the dog
stops
mid step
and
I hear
them:
10 elk
cows
with
calves
in tow
gently
single
file
meandering
toward
the gulley.
The dog
is off
as
they weave
down
like
a brown stream
toward
aspen
feeding
grounds.

Tonight
they will
sleep
under
the stars
and
new moon,
clumped
in a sweet
musky
circle of love,
dreaming
of summer grass
while the dog
grunts
with
tired
satisfaction
inside
and
warm.

Strange Fruit…..

 

Today is the saddest of days
sad as the muted
hazy sunset
as the lone coyote
calling
past the ridge
not yipping –
humorous
light
chatter
but heavy notes
of longing:
descending
cello notes.
Slow drumming
northerly wind
tells
of winter.
Grasses
blow
dry,
now
few visitors
not even
light footed
antelope:
but always
bluebirds
circling the house
landing
on the porch
railing
reminding
me
of
one constant
irony
of life –
there is no joy
without
grief
no light
without
darkness.
No change
without
struggle
no laughter
without tears
no rain
without clouds:
we lumber forward
like foolish
fear
stricken
dolts
toward
some
supercilious contract
with life
understanding
little
of what really matters:
love unspoken
deeply
embedded
in the very
marrow
of our
bones.

In a nightmare
you died
violently,
struggling
in this
heavy
handed
just less
world,
I woke
wailing
crying
shaking
beneath
a new moon:
a dream
so real
I recognized
the scent,
of my youngest,
but it was
a message
I understood
all too well:
I cry for all
these children
of such dark times
I hold you
this night
praying
for a gentler world,
where kindness
is the coin
and love
the barter.

In the night
I see
shadows
in the trees
swaying
ghosts
of past
lives
who now clamor
for their moment
to be seen
heard
and
justified.
I see you
all too well
but today
I am tired
old
slow footed
too tongue tied
to free your souls.
Tomorrow is another day
over the ridge
the sun will rise,
bluebirds
chasing
invisible
life
giving
bugs,
dog
meandering
into
sage
sniffing
out
messages
from
deer
elk
or
rabbits,
and I will
lift my head
stare
toward the mountains
and do the best I can,
one step at a time.