Above Multnomah Falls

This warm winter makes the creek scream like spring.

I dip my hand in, as far in as my long sleeves let me

Smooth stones, slick, cold life, years in my hands.

My fragile blood beats, knows the water by heart.

 

It’s good to be wary of the speed of the current

where it licks up upon the shore, sure feet are never a given.

It can bite you, gently, or with unforgiving teeth.

Its noise covers all voices, who’ve come beyond the falls

 

I head for snow level, it’s high for this time of the year.

Pine needles dot its surface like a mild sprinkling of spice.

Towhees, ravens, and buntings call with haunting songs

An echo between their voices, moves with the forest, downhill.

 

There, below, near the river and I-84, the creek is a maiden jumping.

Thousands of selfies, one tripod, a few point and shoots

attempt to catch her in the act of hitting the ground.

She refuses to pose.

 

 

 

 

 

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Leaves

  1. Starbucks banana nut bread
  2. Grande Pike, medium roast
  3. Trailhead, outhouse, no toilet paper
  4. A cluster of campsites within a mile
  5. Driving, slightly faster than normal between campsites
  6. All other outhouses, no toilet paper
  7. Hillbillies with dogs at one campsite give me the evil eye
  8. Back to trailhead, outhouse, no toilet paper
  9. Deciduous trees

 

 

Moon Machine

(Click on image to enlarge)

The Wind Bends the Flower

It’s easy for her to get lost in stillness, before light sneaks between curtain and window, playing shapes on her bedroom walls.
The softness of night can’t hold back day. She knows that. She hears the east wind pick up, as the sun spreads it over the city, where it curls around signposts, dips below fences.

 

Her ride in is easy, with the wind, a powerful glide, her body in tune with all traffic. On her way back home, she fights. The wind brushes her ears, a reminder of how life is scheduled, one comes, one goes.
Lives take the shape of schedules. She begins to see the shape of it on her face, that ease of following the flow, the chatter of her job, people’s energies intermingle, clash, flitter about. Then, the struggle to find herself on her own time, left to an inner dialogue that sometimes slips into the air, out loud, like crazy talk, wind and ground.
She prays to the stillness, after that same sneaky morning light dims, wishing to hear something break into sound, tearing into her null, an abstract of stillness.
She decides to attack the quiet, quietly. She believes her insides, once let loose, will bleed like a blooming flower.
The east wind dies down, occasionally rattling the metal of her bathroom exhaust fan.
She falls asleep and dreams of noise but can’t remember what they sounded like when the light wakes her up…again.

The Lover and the Fool

Running through the mud, laughing like a feral forest child with no concept of language. My body, the only means of communication, flying down Macleay creek trail, passing the Witch’s House. I swear I float above the trail. Then on Wildwood, even the sounds of the shipyards can’t humble my magic. I am the mud, the fern, the bobcat, the pygmy owl, hunter of twilight, snapping, gulping foggy sunbeams poking their shadows between slender conifers. I look to my skin to see if it’s on fire. There aren’t flames, at least the kind one can see. And it does not burn in the sense of pain, but from inside me.

 

Dragging my untied shoes in Sunnyside, my feet like claws on the pavement. Closing the car door, running shoes dangling from my hand, they are stuffed with a couple of twenties, debit card, license, house keys. My limbs ache for a shower and a beer. Kids from the school pass by, laugh. My body, the only means of communication, hands, red, wrinkled, veins and arteries…caked mud on my knees. I am the transient, the poor, a beggar, schizo. The sun is a fool and a lover. I look to my skin to see if it’s on fire. Ashy. The kids aim their cellphones at me.

Daylight Thieves

Sauvie Island, February 2019

(click on image to enlarge)

More images found here and here.

Almost Spring On The Clackamas

The forest is last to relinquish winter. Snow still sticking between its toes, it has thousands of shadows and shades, ways to hide from sunlight. On these days of last melt, snow packs down hard on the unexposed trail, creating a thin slice of ice, a layer of water sits on its top.

My hands grip fern, turf, searching for the darkest earth below me. I’m on all fours placing one limb in front of another, hoping to find the firmest soil. I read the forest like braille.

The trail hangs on to the valley as if stapled, tacked on. Cold gusts follow the shape of the mountains, on their way to meet the current of the river.

The Clackamas pays sly attention to my insecure movements. It would take me as I am, all limbs reverted back to bones, a boulder covered in moss, willing to hide me, partially, in its current. The wind and hills will cover my voice.

I refuse to slip.

A warmth curls upwards, the sun finds a clearing. The trees across the river turn gold. My feet hit soft snow. I look back up to the denser part of the forest, I can see light tickle the ribs of the trees, slanting beams down to me. My hands are warm, my eyes tired.

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