Red Deer River Valley

Red Deer River Valley

here was an ocean
an ancient 
shallow sea;

great creatures 
navigated there
before you and me.

archaic things
swam in sandy
bottomed shallows

sailors in ancient
places, where we'll
never go again.

buried bones
have turned
to stone

millions of years
went sliding past
it seems so long;
it goes so fast.

here are bones,
when fleshed 
and live,
swam by 
so long ago.

we see them
in museums,
learning little.

Arrowleaf

sign of springtime
growing wild 
on a hillside,

always impressive,
wild things
in wild places.

snow melt
waters 
cool hillsides,

and arrowleaf
balsamroot.
this year i'll
miss the daisies.

a time has come
to go to distant
places, to
move along,

and find other 
signs of spring, 
in other places.

adventure seems to
beckon; we will go.


Rattlesnake Point

   from here 
      it looks
so different,

   and it seems
      like another
world, a wonder.

someone thought
   its name might
frighten tourists.

   so they put a
different name
      on the map.

      local people
laugh about it.

they know that
rattlesnakes are
      native too.

   they are not 
overly sensitive 
      about it.

      and if tourists
   are too scarey,
a good bite might
   set things right!

Ring of Fire

   mute evidence of 
long ago eruption, 

   cooling rocks 
swim in warm 
   pacific waves.

      a thousand
   miles away
a gentle breeze
   stirred a sea,

   and pushed a
surface droplet
against another
      and another.

   the pile rose 
and now waves 
      wash over
these dark rocks,

      we watch their
rhythmical arrival,
   hear a pattern
      of splashes.

they could be a clock,
   dividing our days.

      we might live
between wave peaks,
   resting in valleys.

      and how the sun 
burns down on us.




African Tulip Tree

African Tulip Tree

once they borrowed
   this invasive tree,
   brought from afar
      to hawai'i.

     it was imported
from a world away,
once transplanted
   it just got away.

spread like disease, 
      among a flock,
   we heard it so.

   so many things
we do will fail us.

   time will bring
   surprises that
      we cannot
understand.

our great works 
   impress us so.

      new evils
      seem to
surprise us;

but we may 
      still endure.