Tag Archives: Hiking

Swollen

The clouds move
like an army
over the mountain.
Their bellies barely
scraping the jagged edges
and tips of pines.
With each moment,
they grow larger
swallowing the last
of blue sky.
The wisps become thickets
of dark grey and white.
Though they are quick to pass
through a maze
of valleys and peaks
they stagnate
on the far east edge
and begin to release
days of rain
that they have been keeping inside.
Dousing the plains
and slinking further up
until
there is nothing left
to hide.

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In the Rain

This patter of rain
could lull me to sleep.
A warm dog at my feet
and the softness of a lantern light.
The night cooling with each drop.
I wish it to never stop.

Burning Bear

There is a tale ancient as the mountains. About a bear whose coat was the color of flames.

They say he was bigger than boulders. Claws like a set of hunting knives. Eyes blacker than night.

He roamed the ridges and valleys. And bathed in roaring rivers. Gorging on elderberry and napping amongst the clovers.

Many passed along this whisper through the years. The colorful bear became a legend and a mystery tucked in the fleeting sounds and scents of the forest.

But as with anything unfortunate, not too long ago, a group of local men stumbled on him whilst he napped in a grove. They stared in disbelief at the strange reality brought from the depths of their childhood memories.

The bear’s coat was a furious color. Startling and mesmerizing.

Stepping quickly back to town, they told everyone about the animal. About how the fable became a truth. Dollar signs floated in their heads and plans were vigorously set.

Burning Bear. The name for the sublime creature, crawling on everyone’s tongue. Itching at the skin for their own pleasantries to dawn. A prize to be won.

The men began slowly scouting the forest soon after. Careful with every step and breathe. Wading rivers and wandering through the trees. Full of hope. And greed.

Every so often the would become alarmed. Spotting a dot of orange and yellow not to far. Tracing the path, they would only find fields of flowers so intricately designed. But their eyes never appreciated the fields as they would immediately be perturbed. Annoyed that such splendor was in the way and wasting time in getting what they were due.

But one day, they were sure they had him. Streaks of his coat danced furiously through the forest, leaving glints of color in its wake. Smiling at one another, they readied their bows for Burning Bear was headed right towards them.

Confidence soon turned whey they realized their mistake. It was not the bear but actual fire that had charged them and desired to keep them at bay.

Cries rang out as they turned back for the town. How foolish had they been? How had they missed the dying grey mist that followed the disjointed edges of color? How had they missed the smell of death and the swelter and the smolder?

To their dismay, they found their own path cut short. Escape was not an option as they were surrounded. Feelings of dread and the engorgement of fear. They huddled together and dropped to their knees. Begging in prayer.

A great crash suddenly blossomed in their ears as they looked up and over to find a stack of trees laid just above the ruthless tips of the flames. Thinking it their second chance, they clambered onto the logs, running full speed with no stops.

Halfway across the auspicious bridge, they all noticed an unmistakable outline. Each of the men aghast at what they had seen and what it could only mean.

But upon reaching the end, clear of all smoke and flame, they were saddened to not even glimpse upon their protector. The timely beast had already made his way out, blending with the flames. It dare not wait for its foes, even those it had just saved.

The men gleefully spread this story of an unexpected redemption. And the humor of their salvation.

Though many found it hard to believe, there were many still who swallowed every word. And like a seed, it was planted in their memories. Blossoming in dreams and shaping their beings.

And, like me, one day they hope to thank and see the Burning Bear and his coat twisted in beauty and mystery.

TABEGAUCHE

Soft peaks and rolling hills.
Sand shaped by the wind.
Undulating and smooth.
Desert valleys begin.

Cracked earth and
jagged white rock
leading to ridges
and flat tops.

This land is alien
and forever empty.
Void of all movement
no living thing to see.

Though it is strange,
there is a sullen beauty.
A digestion of the unknown
and the wonder that fills me.

ELDORADO

The water bade me follow.
It’s path winding and deep.
Every canyon, every hollow.
Never will it find defeat.

Curling its white tips,
it rushes with fury,
hitting the boulderous stones,
crushing them without even stirring.

So deceitful in its calming,
clear surface,
knowing the violence roaring underneath.
I linger a little while longer,
hoping for mercy,
as I bade near for a drink.

THIS MORNING

Was it truly just
this morning
that I ran through the forest?

Over the peak
and
into the gulch,
light’s growing glow,
my cadence
slow.

Trees whisper,
cool winds linger,
my body,
like a feather,
swiftly carving
through the air.

But my mind,
like a dream,
wonders
about the adventure
and the beauty
that is continually
there.

ASHES

When I die,
don’t bury my body deep
with no living thing to see.

Take my ashes
and scatter them wide
across the mountaintops
and canyons
of the Divide.

Where I found my peace
in the solemn beauty
amidst the pines
and roaring creeks
of nature’s glory.