Spring Caprice

clouds in mccall

the air holds its breath,

expectant, clouds press earthward,

birthing waggish wind

Bucket List

bow bridge 

If I could walk upside down on the cobalt blue of the sky,

I would stride past Lincoln and Washington,

past the Revolutionary War and the Pilgrims at Plymouth,

and keep going until I came to Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

and walk right out of his painting into the colorful tumult of the Renaissance.

 

If I could catch the tail of a cloud as it floated by,

I would wrap myself in its periwinkle folds

and emerge on a misty Scottish moor

and walk around for a day and a night

looking for Heathcliff and other tortured souls.

 

My fondest dream, though, would be to ride a wave of migrating birds

and surf my way past contrails and comets,

to wave to the pilot of a 747, and then lean way, way back

and nod off to the calling of geese

and the mournful keen of a bagpipe.

Vision of Spring

 

Castle rocks creek with sun

On the first day of April,

Ariel sat by a stream,

her honey-colored

hair spilling onto

the blue ocean of her shirt.

 

Her head tilted sweetly

as she read The Last Song

by Nicholas Sparks–

her fuchsia Mongoose bike

abandoned on the path.

 

She might have been an ordinary girl.

 

Dance of the Deciduous

dancing trees

Will you dance? says she, her arms upraised in pleasing grace.

A waltz? says he, as he bows his head a trace.

And so they do the pas de deux through March and April too.

 

Drunk on Spring Air

Cauldron LinnI take an intoxicating gulp

of air as I step out the door.

Delirious with joy,

I sense a slight hint of warmth,

the barest scent of growing things.

 I breathe in

and in

and in . . .

like someone who has been

suffocating,

I just can’t get enough

of the balmy feel

in my lungs

and the heady whiff

of summer coming on.

Sentries

bird sentinelsTwenty-two still sentinels atop a leafless tree

 waiting for whatever black birds wait for

in the winter.

The Wicked Witch’s Demise

Phantom falls baseDappled, dimpled snow mounds

linger, leftover—soiled and tatty,

the petticoats of a too-old chorus girl–

blemished with pockmarks,

tire tracks, and squirrel trails,

shrieking and howling

at Spring’s approach,

she shrinks and melts.

Spring Awakening

bear-in-forestAfter two days of fasting

and a brutal colon cleanse,

I stagger from my lair,

haggard, washed-out,

depleted, drained,

sure that I am hungry

but not quite ready to forage.

After a brief sashay

out of hibernation

and a cup of yogurt,

I resume sleeping.

The next day my hunger

awakens with me.

I’m sorry for the she-bear

who must search for

grass and berries.

I greedily devour

a piece of homemade bread

slathered with butter

followed by a large

glass of milk,

each mouthful a prayer

of thanksgiving,

the milk precious nectar.

 

Sanctuary at Murtaugh Lake

yellow-headed blackbird

Like the emperor himself,

a great blue heron

stalks through

gently waving reeds,

grunting and croaking,

the lord of the

hidden (the forbidden).

The other 300 birds,

cloistered concubines,

titter and screech,

gossip and jostle

with cunning conniving.

Daw-daw-ka-DAHHHH!

Sandpipers daintily

wend their way

through the rushes,

shyly sidestepping danger;

yellow-headed blackbirds

keep watch from

the tops of stalks,

their monkey-like screeches

warning of intruders;

and chittering swallows

zigzag in and out,

blue wings flashing,

busy court messengers.

Like interlopers

in the Forbidden City,

do visitors encroach

on sacred space?

Do sparrows mourn

their erstwhile innocence?

Do blackbirds shield

their sisters from

straying humankind?

Are herons livid that

their rules are undermined?

What is all the chatter?

Daw-daw-ka-DAHHHH!

 

Kootenai Covenant

Deadwood reservoir (2)
As constant as the morning sun

burning the mist off Snowshoe Peak,

the Kootenai keep their covenant

with Quilxka Nupika,

who charged them

“to guard and keep the land forever.”

When white men came

with guns and threats,

treaties and disease,

the Kootenai refused to sign,

their promises to the Supreme Creator

already sealed in their hearts.

As stewards of the earth,

they watched over deer and antelope,

glided in sturgeon-nosed canoes

through lakes and rivers; and

harvested roots and berries

provided by the Creator-Spirit.

The People of the Standing Arrow still

sit silently by the swinging bridge,

listening for the whispers of the ancestors

and the sacred stillness of God,

that they may faithfully bear

the standard of fealty forever.