Monthly Archives: September 2012

Homer

Homer – all soul!

This faithful friend bestows such love
to those who simply pass by.

With pat on head and gentle stroke,
release the daily burden’s yoke
and cast a calm relenting.
Sparkled eyes and dimpled grin,
my dog, companion and truest friend,
echoes truth throughout his values,
no lies and no defending.

He sits in calm and watches life,
beside my constant writing,
and hopes for a child to smile on him,
scratch his ears, thus confiding
the source of a happy grin.

His tales are tall,
he calls them all,
to speak of squirrel hunting.
Yet laughs and jokes until the end,
then lays him down in growl and grunting.
This faithful watcher of my day,
beside me walks and never strays,
he looks to me with fun and tease,
echoes my footsteps to only please
whatever my life is wanting.

He is my friend, companion true,
and I’d be lost without him!

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Filed under Family, Mountains, Nature, Photography, Poetry

One Stone

Marsh and Lea

Rocky Perch

One stone I plucked from meadow’s rill
of stream in sweetest lea,
while walking near the green foothills
in search of what is me…

This stone so smooth, unique in shape,
so many stories held,
yet found among this peaceful green
betraying where it fell.

Born of massive alpine giant,
cut from freeze and thaw,
jagged, tossed to stone faced foot,
yet free to rest and there it saw
the heart of mountain nature,
meadow bloomed and marmot’s den,
dark foreboding winter clouds,
drifting snow stacked on the wind.

But years reduce to minutes
when from a stone’s perception told,
still jagged, only slightly worn,
no more that toddler old,
when cast from mother mountain’s stead
by harshest winter and strong spring flood,
so tumbled my little traveler,
to aspen glen in water’s blood.

Here beheld to season’s stream
twixt spring’s wet flush and summer’s green,
lichen grown on sunny-side
and mossy beard on leeward lean.
Free perch to fur and feather’s stride,
by kind bear’s paw did start the ride
where after years with aspens passed
and nature’s character so impressed,
our traveler turned to lower climes,
upon a spring in flooded dress.

So fortunate our shaping stone
to find a lodge and grip at edge
of roiling mountain spring in break,
so foothold gained at sweet fall’s ledge.
Such grandeur did our stone behold
for all the open valleys, his!
Where hushing alpine whispers blow
and eagles soar to heights of bliss
against an azure fielded sky,
bright sun through every season true,
befriended by the mountain spring
and all that he could view…

Years passed by in season’s keep
and soft his jagged edges rolled,
as through his witness, knowledge gained
and so demarked his wisdom, told
only by endurance and courage in his honest lay,
that here our stone had earned his shape,
yet here he could not stay –

For strong spring flood released his hold
that years had so affixed,
and down the falls he tumbled slow
so swept by raging current’s tricks,
until he found a place to rest,
in flooded plain and season’s stream,
and there through vernal ebb and tide
did find his final home, it seemed.

Such a place in alpine meadow,
‘neath distant shadow of his massive mother,
witnessed life in slower sorts
by elk and moose, in grazing hover
near his summer stead,
where flooded plain now turned to marsh,
so beheld life’s cycle greened,
and deeper, slower nature’s march.

Our kindest stone in aging,
witnessed by his smoothest sides,
portrays the thoughts of God so shaped
by years of season’s loving tide.

‘Tis here I plucked this single stone
from stream bed’s rill in mountain green,
and so his story told me there
that I might from his history glean
the honesty of time’s passing,
the gift of aging life,
and find me there a peace in knowing
that nature’s way is temporal wife
to all who stop to notice,
to those who pause to listen clear,
‘tis just the kindest motions
of one who loves you dear.

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Filed under Mountains, Nature, Photography, Poetry

Gettysburg

One-hundred-fifty years ago, April 1861 through May 1865, marked as one of the darkest times of our country: The American Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, 19-November 1863, stands as one of the most well known speeches in American history. Delivered six months after the actual battle, Lincoln managed to galvanize a divided nation toward a “new birth of freedom” and the prospect of true equality.

The speech, given at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA was delivered by a haggard, mournful and nearly weak president. Reaction to the two minute speech seemed to fall short for many, given the depth of the occasion. Lincoln was subsequently chastised and praised for the eloquent effort in the days and months that followed. Yet the truly succinct content and delivery of eternal tenants of equality, freedom and perseverance left the attending crowd in a dignified silence. No applause was offered when Lincoln stopped speaking, as the crowd was hushed to silence, and then a delayed and weak applause came after.

Nearly eight thousand dead and thirty-nine thousand wounded, captured or missing had resulted from the battle of July first through third 1863, just six months earlier. And as the November dedication ceremonies were taking place, re-interment of bodies from the battlefield graves into the national cemetery was still underway.

The poem below is my attempt to realize the man, and his thoughts and regrets as he prepared to give this speech, on the battlefield of Gettysburg. He assuredly walked the hallowed ground, and certainly struggled with his emotions regarding his responsibility to his office, to the union, and to these men fallen. It must have been a long walk.

This poem attempts to reflect on what I believed I could have felt if I had been there to see the man at this point of difficult challenge for not only himself, but our young nation.

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I’ve seen you there, in sharp relief,
your strength of spirit, iron will
drawn tight into the moment’s point,
silent hope, compassion’s fill,
so contrast the graying battlefield.

I’ve watched you reach for words expressed,
but none could hold your tears in check.
I’ve seen your furrowed brow grow deep,
speechless. Bittersweet this death
that brought the end to souls untold,
now shouting ‘last the fight’s undone,
“These loving arms no more shall hold
the hearts for whom this battle won.”

I’ve felt the pain, impetuous,
draw blooded tears within your soul,
and struggle in one moment’s doubt,
by you, this great and utter toll
one moment’s decision rifted.
For had you seen a sparrow light
before those words, you might have lifted
the pen and lost the thought
that led these young souls here…
Yet granted by the will of God,
your words, a nation sanctified,
that now at bloodied battlefield,
two parts, in union, these lives have tied.

I’ve seen that in your knowledge thus,
no ration found or reason made,
could ease the pain in burden, standing
upon the horrored battle glade.
In dignity you moved between
the fallen throng of man and horse,
your tears in gentle wiping,
your speech suppressed to whisper, hoarse.

I’ve seen your great reflection now,
compassion wrapped humility,
through generations time has wrought
and birthed our freedom, our liberty.

Yet if today your soul still wanes
in what was cast and needed done,
please find enhearten’d confidence,
that greater still the battles run…
for way of life and human rights,
for purposed divined in liberty,
your strength of spirit and compassion real,
has inspired right, has kept us free.
For we are one above the rest
who reach for truth and justice.
Our commitment to the path you took,
thus your soul displayed, before us.

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Filed under History, Photography, Poetry

Grateful

Cirque Meadow – Colorado – August

Twixt fold of velvet alpine green,
land locked, this mountain lake serene,
where early morning blue on blue
frees an azure golden hue,
that rolls to edge of earth, it seems,
and so defines this morning’s dream.

Summer sun o’er eastern flank
warms the rising mountain ranks.
Doe, in crossing this resting vale,
turns to ask what tale I tell,
then through the fir and off again,
so witnessed here by ink and pen.

At water’s surface swept wings soar
in acrobatic play and chore,
reflect the thread of life, and more
there held in placid surface.

Stoic granite perching, sums
a grandeur where broad stokes succumb
to sweeps of God’s desire, runs
a point to greater purpose…

Herein my summer morning wakes
to what I witness, to what I take
in forms of image and memory caught,
unto these lines of living wrought –
I, more grateful in return…

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Filed under Mountains, Photography, Poetry