Monster Shadows

 

Where monsters lurk

Cast your shadow,
Moonlight bright.
Wake the moment,
Stir the night.

Treetops sparkle,
With muted light.
Boulders hiding,
On my right.

Something scampers,
Taking flight.
It’s small and quick,
With stripes of white.

Night sounds near,
But out of sight.
Do I run,
Or stand and fight?

A distant shriek,
Causes fright.
But nothing gets me,
And I’m all right.

To the campfire,
Still flickering bright.
Its guarding sphere,
A realm of light.

Flames mostly yellow,
A few are white.
At first, I stare
But then look right.

What is that there,
Beyond my sight?
Out in the darkness,
Of the night.

Unseen monsters,
I think to fight.
And once again,
I ponder flight.

Then magically,
There’s no more fright.
The monsters flee
It’s first daylight.

Audio Version: 

The forest at night

Oasis

Pondering

Islands in the sea of life,
Respites to the strife.
Lean on back against a tree,
Daydream of what might be.

See the forests, touch the rocks,
Feel the dirt and watch a fox.
Drink a raindrop, hug the trees,
And savor every gentle breeze.

Walk the path, stay on the trail,
Don’t let the bumps your life derail.
Should a river block your way
Wade in and cross it, you’ll be okay

When a whirlwind grabs and sends
Your moments into dizzy spins.
Find your footing, breathe in deep,
You can count on nature, your soul to keep.


Audio Version:

On top of Bullseye

Good Senses

Looking into the Copper Canyon backcountry

Starry nights
And faraway lights.
Where storm clouds go
And a wild lightning show.

Above the peak
And the end of the trail.
Crossing a log
And staying out of the bog.

Warm days in winter
And fields full of color.
Snowfall in summer
And a distant drummer.

Intriguingly perched boulders
And birds flying south.
The movements of herds
And undefined words.

Second winds found
And hills lit by the sun.
Uncharted miles
And grandeur that smiles.

Mysterious corners
And faces in logs.
Waves rolling in
And time without end.

Branches all tangled
And stickers that stick.
Why campfires smoke
And cause you to choke.

The bacon that’s cooking
And ants that don’t bite.
Dust Devils on the horizon
And moments that wizen.

Unknown new roads
And scratching an itch.
At the top of the climb
And the future time.

Life fills up your mind
And lights up your path.
So, free your spirit to wander,
There’s so much to ponder.

Audio Version:

A campfire to smell

Inside a Bolivian Mine

Unexpected Footbridge in Mexico

My wife, Lori, and I ended up in the city of Potosi on the last part of our Bolivian vacation. After considering various things to do around the city, we selected the “mine tour” option. The city is over 200 miles south of the capital city of La Paz. At 13,400 feet of elevation, it’s one of the world’s highest cities. And, as we found out, it’s dominated by a big mountain named Cerro Rico, which has been mined regularly for silver since the Spaniards were the rulers.

Continue reading “Inside a Bolivian Mine”

Showtime

Stars of the show

See the face
In clouds that race
Across the sky
Into your eye.

Feel the touch
Of ground and such.
Of rocks and sand
And unknown land.

Hear the quiet
Of ants that riot,
Rocks that hum,
And falling crumb.

Smell the rain,
The ripened grain,
Unbridled mare,
And newborn air.

Taste the dust
And gulp the gust.
Drink dripping ice.
Make dirt your spice.

Chew the fat.
Watch the gnat.
Touch the grime,
And yucky slime.

Feed the campfire,
Avoid the briar,
Ski the scree,
Don’t squish a flea

Sit and ponder,
Look and wander.
Always more to know
In nature’s show.

Audio Version:

Waterfall on the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie

Rich

backpacker walking down a dirt road in the mountains with the Aspen trees turninggolden.

Count your wealth
In soaring trees,
Dunes of sand,
And sprawling seas.

In Limestone rocks,
Granite faces,
Grassy meadows,
And open spaces.

In thorny cactus,
Whitetail Deer,
Rolling plains,
And rivers clear.

In moonlit nights,
Gentle snows,
Trails of dirt,
And cawing crows.

In Bison herds,
Buzzing bees,
Starry nights,
And cooling breeze.

In boulder fields,
First raindrops,
Boggy creeks,
And mountain tops.

In waterfalls,
Cedar breaks,
Grizzly Bears.
And big snowflakes.

In gurgling springs,
Hungry snakes,
Wild raspberries,
And alpine lakes.

In Aspen groves,
Wild mountain honey.
Spring wildflowers,
And days all sunny.

In vast pine forests,
Pecan bottoms,
Briar patches,
And colorful autumns.

So count your blessings
Not your gold.
Nature’s rich,
“Look, behold.”

Audio Version:

Boquillas Canyon on the Rio Grande

 

Dancing to Beyond

Two sorts of trails

Wander with intent
And dance with the winds.

They’ll lead you down the trail
To a place where life transcends.

Feel the ground beneath your feet
As you twirl and whirl and swirl.

Move into unknown spaces,
See nature’s light unfurl.

Hear the heartbeat as it rumbles,
Feel the rhythm throbbing sweetly.

Smell the roses in their glory,
Pass the moments indiscreetly.

Go where the breezes take you,
Let your limits fall behind.

Be a whirlwind marching onward
Full of pureness unrefined.

Turn loose of what constrains you
As you enter what’s ahead.

Then marvel at where you’ve gone
And at the place your path has led.

Audio Version:

Backpacking

Steps of Faith

4  people crossing the Kahiltna Glacier in Alaska
                                         Crossing the Kahiltna Glacier, the Alaska Range

Cross the glacier,
And probe the surface ahead
With a pole.

Reach below,
And feel for hidden holes,
Filled with emptiness.

It’s a profound place
Of majestic vistas and open spaces.

Crisscrossed by mysterious cracks of darkness
Known as crevasses.
Which lie in wait–
Hoping to swallow you up,
And drink you into,
Their endless world of ice and cold.

Some are open for all the world to see.
Others are hidden under a thin shield of snow
And the sea you walk,
Is constantly changing.

The shape of each crevasse,
And where they are,
At any given moment in time,
May never be known.
But can be better understood.

Feel the edges underneath,
Where the breaches end,
And the solid glacier extends.

And follow the path of most resistance.

If you do,
The going is slow-
Circuitous and wobbly.

But perhaps you won’t fall in,
And will get where you’re going.

Audio Version:

                                                                             Crossing a wide open glacier

 

The Mountaintop

A Colorado Mountaintop

Finally on the summit,
The top’s beneath my feet.
For a moment I rest upon the throne,
Where the mountain is my seat.

I gaze into my surroundings.
Distances of every kind,
Add to the puzzle,
And overwhelm my mind.

I see the route that led me here,
And the places I could go.
For an instant, the world is at my doorstep,
And possibility stirs below.

The “what might be” almost overwhelms,
As “could” fills up my mind.
With thoughts of hope and treasures,
And riches of every kind.

Then a new plan comes to life,
And it’s time to head below.
I’m excited by what awaits,
And the places I may go.

Continue reading “The Mountaintop”

Morning on the Trail

Backpacker hiking up slick rock in Mexico's Copper Canyon
Backpacking up the slick rock in Copper Canyon

Out of the tent and into the morning,
What will the new day have to say?

The fresh morning air is crisp and clear,
The soon-to-be coffee will be hot and dear,
And my mind is most certainly full of cheer.

The air is filled with a calming breeze,
I ponder how last night it got down to 38 degrees.

Heavy dew got everything wet,
I was that way, too, but mine was from sweat.

High in the sky, movement catches my eye,
I focus and see it’s a hawk floating by,
And I wish that I could also fly.

Two chipmunks scurry between nearby rocks,
The big one squeaking like a chatterbox.

I also hear the tumbling creek,
Yesterday, things were looking awfully bleak,
But today, we’ll forget that and climb the peak.

Sunlight is shining on the summit we seek,
Looking at the steepness makes my knees feel weak.

I’ll worry about that later on,
But for now, I’m just gonna relish the dawn,
And enjoy watching the newborn fawn.

Since we’re climbing Big Sandy, then returning here for the night,
We can limit our gear and travel light.
.
For the climb, we won’t need a big backpack.
We’re only taking raingear, water, and snack,
And can fit all of that into a knapsack.

I need to get the group up and going,
Before the wind starts really blowing.

The storms have started building every day at noon.
Just like during monsoon season, but it’s only June.
All the more reason to get going soon.

Thank goodness my rain jacket’s been working well,
It’s kept me dry and it’s only a shell.

The climb’s gonna be long, so I need to fill my bottles with water.
Look over there, is that an otter?
I swear those rocks are beginning to totter.

My thoughts sharply focus on the pending climb,
And I realize it’s become that time.

The sun’s rising fast,
The time for leaving has almost passed.

We won’t be cooking oatmeal,
Cause beating the storm’s, a big deal.
Our need to leave has now become real.

“Get up, pack your stuff, we’re leaving,” I shout.
“If we wanna beat the rain, we need to get out.”

“Just eat a snack,
While you get ready and pack,
We’ll do some cookin’ when we get back.”

“And zip up your tent, before we head out,
If you don’t and it rains things will get wet no doubt.”

After the flurry of action, we finally head out,
With the peak our goal, but without a route.

We cross the creek and see it’s full of trout,
And suddenly that’s all we’re thinking about.

We stop and talk about our goal for the day,
And decide it best to fish and stay.
Plus, avoiding the storm will help make it okay.

So, we turn around, and off we tramp,
From where we just left, it’s back to camp.

Once we get there, most get out their poles,
Then head back to the creek and the various fishing holes.

I stay behind and consider what’s changed,
And ponder the plan that’s been disarranged.

The climb to the top would’ve been fun,
Especially, that is, if the summit we won.

But the fish grabbed our attention,
And changed our intention.
As soon as we saw them, there was no more ascension.

And now here we are, on the banks of the creek,
Instead of climbing toward the peak.
We still have a “goal,” so to speak,
But it’s no longer the summit, it’s Brookies we seek.

Days are full of changes to plans,
Partly because there are so many cans.

Relish the moments, both subtle and profound,
Embrace all that happens and keep looking around.

Continue reading “Morning on the Trail”

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