READING THE WATER


(Jackson Hole, October)


Up-country, Indian summer:

basins fenced in by fault cliffs;

the pause before autumn flash-

freezes in sere polar air.


Dry ends dance to the tambourines

of aspen rattling their twinned leaves,

cottonwoods bowing in calm

plumed grace above the creek beds.


It is the sense of space and

permanent returns that stays.

Hiking the high lakes, a hundred

square miles before you, you stand


on the backbone of continents,

breathe with the breath of the Dawn Horse,

reading the rocks like water,

like a natural recording of flow.


In long curved riffles cut by

shoaled gravel, trout park, out of fast

channels, red fins fluttering: heads to

the current, like pointers in a breeze.



From Watered Colors (2014)