Things Mended, Once

Newness and time and
Days spent wandering wild by
Things not said and cannot be
Said… by trails taken and paths gone
Down just once. I

Have been gone and silent. Quiet
Thinking on ridges and long walks up
Boulder-studded hills that take us to
Songs in the wind or

A sun-bright cold day in Rockies and
Beer bought on holiday days near
Hotels lost to time
And space. How do

We begin again? Is it just picking up
Broken things and mending them
As best we can? Or something

Deeper, more profound, more
Struggles to find old things in closets we
Cleaned out long ago. A shoe with

Holes in soles that was thrown down stairs
I cannot find.

Visions of a West, Lost

So much and so
Little like a lone and
Dusty road you come
Down from mountains lost
In snow and rain and clear
Cascades of sky that you

Look up to and out on days
And nights with smoke that
Billows up into a clear
And cool campfire sky. I

See it as small, wooden works
And wood that creaks under boots
With mud and chills and looks
Out to hope and songs that we
Hear on nights when all there is

Is us lost,
Somewhere high
Up.

Black Birds and Mountains

January, 2017

The black birds come
Down and by large, white
Windows with views out

To mountains that back to
Mountains that stretch to
Lakes up tall pine roads.

These black
Birds. They do not
Stay but squawk and perch
With such menacing eyes. While

Out beyond are hills and
Streams and paths that line
Up to mountains that stretch
To mountains I just
Cannot see.

A Mountaineer’s Lament

Found on a ridge on
A lonely trail.

You cannot find it if
You looked even so
Hard. Down deep tunnels in
Quiet mountains. In
Trees and lakes in
Towns that died long
Ago. You cannot
Find it.

More so think to see
It in sunshine mist on half-
Cold winter days. The form
Far off on hills that almost seem
To wave,
To us…

A lone bird that sits
Pensive in the cool
Morning air. You

Cannot find
It even if you looked even
So hard,
So still.

3 Stanzas for Winter Days

Suddenly it all comes down and
A patient, pensive stillness
Settles out across the views

That stretch to cold-topped and
White-dusted hills with foot-
Prints you can trace as

You stand and watch and
Breathe in deep chills that still
Are coming quietly from
Somewhere else…

A Poem Found On the Side of a Road

A Poem Found
On the Side of a Road

Badly damaged and hard to
Read in places…

Somewhere out West where
We know of canyons and
A pale, translucent moon I

See hillsides by hills and
Far off a lone figure up
Far off passes we squint

At in the sun. It
Just like this place. This
Feeling by fires and smells

Of streams by woods near
Trees we can only see
Waving at us from roads

We just can’t reach…

The rest cannot be read.

Mountain Rambles on August Days

Often on steep sloping sides I
See shadows by shadows and
Songs of birds in trees
I cannot find. Where

Are we going? The path leads
Up and on. The

Sign-post is broken and
Points off to ruined homes high
Up hills. Nothing but
Old stones still held up

By time and the thought
That us and we can fight
Through storms to summits where
There is nothing left except

Lightning strikes and huge
Pieces of rough-hewn marble with
Dates and names of people long

Since settled back into
The earth. It holds us out
And brings us back once
Again… these views and

Vistas of trails hiked once
And seen now from the distance –

The long view taken from
The trail we never took.

In Praise of Simple Things

Observed on Summer Nights

I.

So often I think
Of vast expanses of
Blue that
Comes up on us

Like storms lost somewhere
In the distance.

II.

The soft, steady
Pellets of rain that
Fall like

Evening shadows across
A red canyon wall.

III.

Birds calling. A
Sweetness of smell as
Wind picks up dry dirt and
Tosses it

Off in bug-filled air.

IV.

Longings and whispers.
Silence and the break
Of branches off
In calm, cool,
Wild woods.

Poem-Hunting in Far-Away Lands

In search of a poem, a line to
Form those more-perfect words that
I can just barely find on
Hillsides in the sun and
A tall, lone tree that stands there
By itself, glimmering…

Like those words I come back to on
Distant days in far
Flung lands where I walk under a
Bridge and smell sweet
Roasting chestnuts in a July
Christmas market. Toys and gifts.

That perfect metaphor, or
A quiet line that spills through to
Bright days in a desert. Such red
Soil, like the blood of
Ancients. Seeping and becoming one
With a pale blue sky that I

Reach and reach off to but
Cannot grasp. It is

Too far away so I
Stay here and think of
That little cryptic word
Wriggling around in

The sinews of a time
In winter gardens and the
Bright blue of deep songs
In dark distant and still
Summer skies.

Brief Thoughts on Summer Days

Quiet canyons and the call of
High, black birds seem to rest
On the backs of cool, silent
Rivers

That I see flowing off in
Dreams and smells of fresh
Lilacs that bloom by
Streams

Running down the red rock
Walls. These the places and
Scenes of a summer time by
Creeks

That call us to come
To paintings found in corners
Of caves. The new flowers we
Cannot, quite, find.