SageGreenJournal.org voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...
May 17, 2014
poet, author, journalist, editor, professor & speaker
Denver Poet Laureate (2006-10)
limestone boulder perched
for millennia at the pass
slowly tilted and fell, urged
down the cirque, its echo off
lakeglass answered by thunder
fading and finally still
and we stood on the summit of
Square Top Mountain
under thickening skies,
silent with wonder, nourished
from climbing August slopes
above treeline, our big dog
delirious in a riot of
wildflowers, white sun, wind
pouring over the divide,
everything one thing,
the virgin wood and the
raised ancient seabed, the
nameless tarn a dark mirror
spun with the blacker shadow
of a spiraling raptor
dune so steep the old dog stops
Médano Creek spills a dark braid
cold over hot sand and burning feet
great groves of pine snag low sun
copper melting on grooved bark on
deep green needles on crowns
full of cones on amazing ravens
perched high and hacking
conversation out of the space
spin the wheels and you’ll start
backsliding the key is finding
friction’s efficient edge
put that thing in superlow gear
let torque slow chew the slope
drive while the daylight lasts
Bright trout among smooth rocks agree,
as do the dun and redheaded wrens.
Sunset on the current-rilled river
must be the star’s best ritual.
Nomads and bar-haunters
kayak home under cottonwoods
and do not regret wind and whisky,
nor forget how a soft embrace
banishes the done day, transports
the traveler to well deserved dreams.
Rough winter leaves as always
and exposes the brown hill has again
hidden its green intentions. What
can poor men and women do
but find one another and insist
trouble be silent at night. This spring
same as the first and the last to come.
Even among cinders of the railyard
black-poisoned with industry, purple
will appear, yellow and white,
colors that can’t stay but come anyway.
Your river has a beautiful town, so
sleep well as dark enfolds white peaks
and rocks slow-release their stored heat.
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