THE BOTTOM OF THIS HILL
The bottom of this hill
once had a black bear
who peered up at us while we backed away
and returned to the car
all the while casting furtive
backward glances and remarking how well fed he appeared.
STAND STILL IN THE WOODS AND LISTEN
Stand still in the woods and listen.
Flocks twitter high in the distant trees,
Crickets clap below this ridge
With fellows replying from afar.
My dogs settle in the grass,
Their collars clink their licenses.
A group of quail leap in fear;
With feathery flaps and gentle coos
They alight in a tree.
A pine come drops through branches
Softly landing in dry leaves,
The breeze ruffles the desiccated grasses.
Listen closely and witness seeds spreading.
I turn and gaze toward the lake far below,
Stand still in the woods and observe
White wakes leading from tiny boats rushing over the waters,
Sailboats winking white in the sun.
The farm below is lush and green.
Turning, I see people bob along the trail across the gully.
They speak but distance skews the message.
They do not know I'm here.
They say close only counts in horseshoes and grenades
I’d also add curling
White moth or butterfly
That nearly collided
A Ponderosa trunk.
LIKE PENDENT JEWELS
Like pendent jewels
Raindrops hang from a birch branch
Refracting morning light
Who will see
A line of mist follows the rise of the tree tops.
This is beauty in motion,
Eddies drifting and swirling.
A wide-topped mushroom emerges from the forest floor,
Its cap sports long sienna Ponderosa Pine needles
Encumbered, it nevertheless is making a debut.
It will be a mushroom even with the extra load it carries.
This handicap will not stop it from appearing on cue
And playing a role on the planet's scene.
The soft trilling came from high overhead.
Craning my neck I saw the chevron advancing against the blue.
Wheeling, they broke into three groups:
Fifteen survivors of the summer.
Joining as a mass, breaking apart,
Two plus three plus ten,
Back together as fifteen,
Trilling all the while,
Gradually moving with the clouds toward the south east.
A dragonfly crossed my field of vision,
Still the trilling,
A raven called nearby,
Still the trilling in the background.
I watched until they were obscured by trees.
How many others have they mesmerized?
A HILLSIDE OF GRASSES
A hillside of grasses
Bows under the dewy onslaught of the night’s raindrops.
A wispy veil of cloud advances slowly down the lake.
The gentle tug of wind moves tentatively, growing drifts of vapour,
In minutes obscuring lake, mountain, and trees.
Across Harrington Plateau it wafts with gentle but relentless power.
The path leads me into this mist.
I can see and be seen but as a shadow, gently blurred.
Three luminous beads of last night’s rain clutch at twig ends.
Plumped by the moist air, a world of lichens resides on branches,
Fruiting bodies exposed, showing villages, towns, and cities of lichen growth.
Expanding across the land, the cloud engulfs the mountain behind Peachland,
Leaving trails of mist amongst the trees below,
Then opening the scene to reveal the lake and Okanagan Mountain.
The bottom of the drifting cloud spreads across
Sheer Rock Cliff Lookout
And now broods over the hills.
If I was just a little bit taller, I could reach up and touch it.
The fog-muffled woods delight me
More than sunny slopes.
The fog is breathing,
This latest exhalation uncovering mountains, lake, woods.
THERE'S A FROG IN THE GULLY
There's a frog in the gully by the trail where I walk.
He calls in the summer and his friends join in.
Now late October all alone he croaks his call
And seemingly only I hear and take delight in him.
The fog is filling in the shadows
As I walk the trails late on this October day.
Too busy with promises to keep during the day
I went as dusk approached.
My night-adapted eyes
Find the way along a familiar trail
Manmade, narrow, and snaking uphill in a thread.
The dogs lead.
Night approaches, dew descends
Clouds meet ground in fog.
I become invisible.
The frog is silenced.
WINTER’S CLOSING IN
The hummingbirds and Swainson's thrush
Slipped away unnoticed.
Grasshoppers are silenced,
Birds have flocked,
Autumn's here without a regal glow.
Brown dead leaves, naked trees
Reveal nature's bare bones:
Will create anew in spring.
But rest for now,
Winter creeps closer
Icing pools and crisping grass.
She comes anon.