Memories Of Mountains

 

In a sweet grass valley I lay supine,

Teasing me subtly the scent of lupine,

Stroking gently that memory in my mind,

Of the Cascade mountains left behind,

 

She loves me, loves me not, the snowy peak,

The one of which dusty poets speak,

Beneath her stony face a pen grows meek,

Next to her strength the ink seems weak,

 

Oh to capture the violence of an avalanche,

Watching the immutable suddenly advance,

How the lines of prose would shudder and dance,

On stark white pages of passing chance,

 

If I could paint the words of winter’s eve,

When the sun sets fire to autumn leaves,

And in unbroken silence a heart believes,

In God and perfection, in simple reprieve,

 

‘But such a beauty cannot be possessed,

Cameras and notebooks cannot express,

The glory cold altitude stone will profess,

To hearts that seek comfort in duress,

 

Only the eyes of one seeking the divine,

Will uncover the riches in sweet sunshine,

Gracing the curves, hungrily dine,

On a small town meal, with a scent of pine.

 

 

 

 

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Clouds, With A Silver Lining

Whispered vespers on the wind,

Uttered from memory, for lack of a page,

Tip-toe softly, let me in,

The dance of life on a sandy stage,

 

Metaphoric tigers there crouching,

Eyeing oblivious prey, from  the cover of grass,

Epiphanies eagerly pouncing,

Upon the shadows summer clouds have cast,

 

A centripetal force of ocean,

Follows the winding path of my veins,

Sly is that perpetual motion,

Trails of laughter, scars and pain,

 

Heavy thoughts take wing in the gray,

July skies adorned, a silver lining,

On the beach, bare toes of imagination play,

Empty fingertips quietly pining. 

While The Earth Was Loving

Once, when time was still young and our hearts were kindred,

Before the flame of passion left only cinders,

Clouds bore the faces of decodent dreamers,

Basking on cheeks kissed by sunlight and sweet grass,

 

Mountains unfolded like earth’s bodily blooms,

Scenting the wind with the wafting of summer love,

As robins and squirrels in a flirtation of perpetuity,

Went seeking immortality in the flesh of each other,

 

Merging with the subtle murmurers of fish spawn,

The music of water over stone, trichotomy of opposites,

Sing symbiotic songs to the sexed up salmon,

Who love with the frenzy of encroaching mortality,

 

And when the raindrops sent wet kisses to smother our sunburns,

We with bare toes splashed in the warm remains,

Littering the fields of sopping daisies,

Where no petals were plucked, because you loved me not.

The Night Sands

When a moment called, I answered

As night enveloped me

Held in the embrace of shadow

Caressed by a southern breeze

 

Breathlessly, a hush claimed the sand

Still warm the loving of sunshine

Shifting beneath my tread

Toes seeking hidden pathways

 

Ocean whispering sweet endearments

To the sharp volcanic stone

With patient murmurs

And playful fingers of froth

 

Echos ride a salty wind

Flavoring words in my mouth

As I sing songs on the juke box

Of my memory

A Moment In Time

It’s in the moments when you’re curled up on the couch, sleepy with television and a full belly, when you notice the gecko cruse straight up the wall next to the painting. A dark flash across the mild hues of  ‘lime’ and ‘desert rose’ glowing softly by the light of a single lamp. He nimbly scuttles to the crown moulding on the ceiling in a blink of an eye and remains motionless there like a miniature gargoyle, awaiting mosquitos.

Those little moments that catch your eye…

When a breeze comes suddenly through the silence of a humid night and makes the jungle come alive around you with a hiss and rustle of verdant fronds. Stops whatever you’re doing as the wind moves in through the screen door, swirling about the house where it bats playfully at the sheer curtains before laughing it’s way out the back lanai. It scatters the sweet smell of plumeria behind it like a pixie dust of lingering smiles.

The unexpected moments…

Ducking beneath the green curtain of budding vine by the little roadside creek. Shade and shelter from the sun with a water bottle, and you find the water is chuckling. The obscuring curtain of lush foliage hid the contours of a long dead foundation, peering through the growth of time, housing only the chatters of reptiles and the whirring of beetles. Within a maze of elephant grass across the small trickle of water is glimpsed intricate trails of wild pigs and chickens. A mockingbird obligingly alights upon a bough above your head and does his best imitation of a dove, a finch and a meadow lark, adding his own flair as a crescendo.  Serenaded in solitude with the music of stream, wind and birdsong, a wonderful surprise as Shangri La is discovered at mile marker seven.

When you are shocked into silence…

Ambling away from the lights of camp on your way to answer the call of nature, when a half hearted glance upward roots you firmly in the sand. A blazing comet shoots across half of a horizon sparkling like diamonds on a bed of black velvet. Pulls the breath from your lungs as you gaze in wonder at it’s brief glory, your heart pulled along it’s unknown path through space, and for a moment you can almost taste stardust. Like a wonder struck child you stand there looking upward, half of you weightless with the heights of it all, having completely forgotten that you had to pee.

The utopia of simplicity…

Awakening slowly, with a lingering aftertaste from pleasant dreams Stretching and smiling at the tree boughs above you, climbing from the hammock with a yawn. Joints popping, muttering to yourself about coffee, emerging from the keawe grove to find you have beaten the sun to the bluff. Half awake, you walk out across the cool sand of the dunes that hugs your ankles, and plant yourself in a likely spot. With your favorite blanket wrapped around your shoulders you are there to see the first questing fingers of the day creep into the canyon. Soft yellow feathers of sunlight stroking the scarlet layers of volcanic stone until a golden flood pours forth over the dunes. You bask in it, you are humbled by it. Gaze transfixed by the warm benevolence emanating from the eastern horizon, you lose yourself in the instant heat that always accompanies the full force of the sun’s regard on the desert side. Baked like a taro chip,  a cool dip in the ocean before walking your crispy skin back to the hammock with a notebook, having no further need for coffee.

The silence that soothes, the waves that heal, the cleansing rain, a breeze of reprieve, sweet surrender to the surreal, weightless without wanting, breathless with ecstasy, perfection in pleasant campfires, having absolutely no plan, but finding that everything is going according to Plan…

That is what it feels like to sit right here, where I am sitting now.

The Memory Of A Tree

This is a FWF prompt from Kellie Elmore at http://kellieelmore.com/2012/06/01/fwf-free-write-friday-when-you-find-me/

 

I am a tree.

My roots delve deeply into the mountain soil, suckling the sweet water of hidden springs.

This body bears 750 rings of age, but I hold that as my secret. You will never know unless you murder me. Like holding a butterfly to examine it’s beauty, now a fleeting one once you have touched delicate wings with oily fingers. Bringing death to the exquisite being you had been admiring, in the act of appreciating it’s life.

These arms reach out to embrace the sky, I am the bridge between heaven and earth. Rustling and dancing to the tunes of wind, I will whisper to you wisdom if your mind is quiet enough. I will shade you from the sun, shelter you from rain, and breathe life into your lungs as I sip on the breeze.

I am a Mother of the forest, hosting birds and insects, squirrels and grubs. Even my death shall nourish, as my fallen body mothers still the plants that will grow upon me, the worms that will devour me, and I will become the nursery of the wood. This is the way of things, this is my place.

I represent the passage from this world, the stairway to God… And the depths of soul, the heights of spirit.

Come sit at my feet child, find the silence of peace, the music of nature. Wrap your warm little body around mine, and feel the life that flows inside of me, as it flows inside of you. Know that I too have my place in this world, that I too am a person.

That I have a soul no different from yours.

 

 

I came home from school on a Tuesday afternoon, to hear the sound of a chainsaw. It was a sound I heard every day for three years, not much of a surprise. I barely registered it in fact, the obnoxious noise had become a part of my days, the evil smell of fuel mixing with the sweet scent of pine chips and cedar. It was my way of life. Hands roughened by labor were always sticky with sap, scratches burning when soap and water infrequently found them. Slivers worked their way beneath my clothing and even appeared in my underwear. Heaving rounds of wood from the brush, splitting and stacking, burning the stump under a pile of branches, roasting a hot dog if I was lucky.

So this day seemed no different than many that had come before it. I divested myself of my back pack with the duct-taped patches, changed out of my “good” clothes and into my work jeans, slipped on the gloves that smelled of sweat and bar oil, and snagged a piece of bread to munch on as I made my way to the west end of the property. Following the sound of the chainsaw, it was like the world’s largest fly that you could not swat away.

I came around the bend in the road into the midst of a massacre. I froze. I could not breathe. My hands began to shake and my stomach flipped over. My mouth went dry and my throat closed in the grip of horror. I sat down with a plop, getting prodded by gravel and I barely noticed.

The tree… The tree…

Countless trees has fallen to the unmerciful blade of my father’s saw- And mine. Stacks of alder, hemlock, cedar, pine, cottonwood and spruce were filed away neatly in the shed like paperwork. I had wheel-barrowed countless loads up muddy hills and down rocky trails, without thought…. But not this tree. Never this tree.

It had held me while I cried, played with me while I clamored, accepted my offerings of apples, wore the jewelery of pine cone wind chimes that I had made, sheltered me from the rain, the snow, the scorching sun. It’s drooping boughs had hid me from the prying eyes of others, it had been my favorite hiding spot for four years, had been my mother, my sister, my saving grace.

It was severed and shattered, having carved a gnarly scar on the foliage surrounding it upon it’s epic fall from grace. It lay mangled and broken, no semblance of it’s beauty remained, and there was my father, obliviously sawing the appendages from my benefactor as he chewed on a twig. Actually CHEWING on a piece of her, the monster. I wanted to cut him in half with his own saw and stack him up in the woodshed.

I sat there shaking with rage, fighting my tears, glaring hatred at his back as he calmly destroyed that small piece of my happiness. I forced myself to watch the insatiable saw chewing into the pure flesh of the trunk, forced myself to witness the atrocity of this act done so blithely.

“She is still alive.” I thought to myself with horror. “She can feel that saw, every bite of it.”

I could not restrain my tears, they flowed like a river swollen from Spring rains. I cried and shook until the awful screaming of the engine had stopped and my father dusted off. As I watched the saw dust fall away from his clothing I thought that he should be covered in blood. That it was the height of evil that he could give himself a little shake and the foul remains of his deed would fall away.

“What the hell are you crying about?” He asked me, as I shot looks so black the stars were coming out.

“Nothing.” I spat the word.

Shrugging his shoulders he began walking back to the house, where he would sit down with a beer and feel satisfaction with himself. “You know what shed to put this in, save those two rounds over there for kindling. I’ll have your brother do that when he gets home, just take care of these.” And he left.

Take care of them? I thought. I had tried to take care of them but I wasn’t there. There was no “taking care” of a dead body there was only the disposal of it. I sat for a long time just looking at it, mourning, feeling betrayed and wounded. I thought of the hundreds of years that tree had stood there. Through snow and sunshine, year after year, watching the passage of deer, rabbit, mice, cougar, bear, skunk, grouse, and little girls. I thought of how many times a tired hawk had rested his wings in the boughs. How many birds had cycled through nests, raising their young.

Hundreds of years, and in 30 minutes all was reduced to nothing but fire wood.

I crept forward and softly stroked the bleeding stump that remained. “I’m sorry.” I told her, and I had never meant that phrase more in my life. Had never said it with so much sorrow. One by one I counted the rings. 750. How insignificant my small life was, and how grossly unfair that such a wonderous creature would have to die for me.

I hauled the “wood” away, but I did not burn the stump. Instead I made an altar on it, commemorating the fallen. I planted another small tree right next to it, hoping that in 750 years it would not be shoved in a fire place.

Princess Of Polihale

There is a pattern here, of ocean waves and weightless wandering. Where the moonlight caresses the rough contours of soul like a stream soothing the rugged edges of a stone. Slow, cool, patient in it’s descent to the sea, warmed by smiles like the sun, tickled by drooping fern fronds, and the wiggling of small fish.

Scuttling about on the nimble feet of an island crab, I am gathering meaty treats washed ashore by the waves. Humming into the shadows, I harmonize with frogs and beetles that ‘whir’ in the darkness that stirs beneath my hammock.

Lazy and amicable, I am a harbor seal basking in heated lassitude on a sunday afternoon with a cold brew. My sun hat shades the contours of my face from the red slap of Spring, layering on the SPF that whiffs of Plumeria and camp fire smoke.

Huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf, hauling bags of melting ice across the scorching remains of volcanoes, making a wet line all the way to my cooler.

The soundtrack is a hiss, click, sway, keawe thorn ‘ouch’, bump, slide, thumb to hitch a ride, flip-flop of a rubba slippa, click-clack of chop sticks (I lost my plastic fork), sand in the shorts ‘wipe’ sheepish grin, splash, hiss of tire pressure released for the beach drive ‘sssssssss’, crackle of the fire, curse as my hot dog falls in, creak of my hammock rope rubbing the tree bough, rustle of pages ‘damn where is my pen?’, rain shower catching me a mile from camp where my skirt slaps wetly on my legs and I smile ‘cuz there aint no complaining about warm puddles, and a sigh as I think of what could have been, what may have been, and the promise of a hop skip n a jump to the next island… Wish I had wings…

Spam and rice… For breakfast?? Mangos left by an unknown saint, right there on my table.

Call me Rose, call me Flower, call me Princess of Polihale- I will even wear that daisy crown.

When faced with such beauty,

One cannot help,

But bow down.