nature

The West

The West

I. Front Range

Lean men prone to heroic understatement,
they have a drawled, laconic way of speaking.
They know that for their debts there’s no abatement
nor boundaries to the vistas they are seeking.

No, there’s only the Front Range of the Rockies
behind which the westering sun is setting
on stallion breakers too strong to be jockeys
and water rights the Judge of all is vetting.

II.  Jornada del Muerto

Tete Rouge Cache

Tete Rouge Cache

Had I a wooden ship
to bear my love from me,
I’d fire it at its slip,
then warp it out to sea.
Or must I strew his ashes
on wild Wyoming passes
climbed in the Seventies?
The thought of that abashes
me and my aching knees.
He’ll sleep in prairie grasses
under his apple trees.

Two Climbers

Two Climbers

Shedding our heavy packs,
we thought it no great feat
to storm a vertical mile,
then beat a steep retreat.

Our trails?  Now needle tracks
from an infusion chair.
Gamely, he feigns a smile
just to ascend a stair.

Grand Forks, ND

Grand Forks, ND

The Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road

A hot-wired spirit sparking in the rain,
you jolted me to life, unfroze my heart,
and all my tangled currents you'd explain
as if you read my bathymetric chart.
We ran with leaf-shaped boards into the sea,
birds wheeling, wave noise tossing up white spray;
I dived, holding your breath, and learnt to breathe
on southern coasts where fire and water play.

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