Week of Dry Flies

When the weather watchers start to confer,

Be wary,

…..Be wary of day jobs, partners,

And farm animals needing attention.

The caddis only happen once

And this might be your best

Or last:

Should you be the fatalistic type.

Sketching the Klamath in November

The River is now a great bridge:

The one constant stretching morning

Across the entire day

All the while folding it,

Neatly

Gently,

Back into night.

.

In between:

Freshly poured green water,

Water of life,

Calling water.

Water that hides things

And

rarely reveals them.

.

Even the rocks revel in their newfound tones

Shining on their neighbors with the latest

Deepest

Hue of translucent

stained

Distant

blue.

.

Born of morning,

All the shadowed eddys,

Boxes,

And dark watching spots,

curiously,

Slowly,

Lengthen day’s best work,

In their icy stillness.

.

Dinner is jars of old elderberries,

And struggling greens, lost

Between the miseries of heat

And bugs and thirst

nearly quenched,

While seeing the path ahead,

Pitted, dense,

Still tough..

To where winter will set stride.

.

Cravings of sweets

in the soft, cloying dampness.

Chilled, but

cleansing.

All this:

From vistas of feet

on velvet landscapes,

To the endless jostlings,

Riding across this great bridge.

The Elusive 5th Dimension

.

.

.

That threads it all together

.

.

.

Can words match it?

The way letters are cast into thoughts

And they grow from there

Spiraling into new places

If thoughts could occupy space.

And maybe time can bring us closer?

Like visiting our birthplace

Where the vistas remain

But the ground is changed.

.

Help us all

All of us help

Forge letters into

Ideas

That are rivers

And life and movement.

The PMD Chronicles. Page 1.

April 20, 2021

Western North America

Before the wind blows, the morning will hang raw and sunny. There is a bare urgency that hangs in the leaves of a cottonwood looming over everything here. The trembling leaves now might tell us the waiting is nearly over. The air has a stretched stillness to it, about to break time’s pace open to its whims.

We will participate, now into this day hammering into every crevice of the bank, through every stone, and seeping into our bones. The sun still shines warm and bright, the sky can easily pull you away.

Later, thunderstorms will build over the hills ringing the valley, deepening our backdrop, focusing our will into the hope that change will happen. This will turn, and leave us again in stillness. And we move with the water’s rhythm, pushed by wind into the next bend. Here we might stop and see the first of evenings bugs pulled upward, or tumbled along the water’s steady surface. A trout might even take a grab here or there, teasing us with their sudden disappearances after we think we’ve figured them out. We lean and ponder, search water, feel wind, absorb a big sky alive with later afternoon. This is where all else falls away.

How the Rain Might Visit

These are songs we dare speak

Only to ourselves

While we wait

Patiently

Through the thick stagnation

We encounter somewhere

Between summer and fall

When the wind falls away,

And the sun is all that is left.

.

This time of smoke

And old valleys

Sitting low, in their once easy chairs

Of coastal ranges gone tight

And creaking

Under their own thirsting landscapes.

.

You can just about hear the memories:

Water-worn tales amidst the dust and rounded gravels,

Once verdant glee,

All gone brittle,

In this time of waiting.

November on the Klamath

Night’s silent choir,

Patiently gathered around the roots of trees,

Inside the river’s long bend,

And in the shadows of boulders,

Passing time under morning’s great bridge.

.

Across:

The orange of maples.

Ahead:

Paws of a lone bear.

Behind:

Tracks of a fisherman’s boots

Through the damp, grey sand.

.

These might be cobblestone dreams

On a lazy afternoon,

But that was October’s rhythm:

Summer’s back porch, shaded

In creaky planks

And sliced tomato gluttons.

.

Now, the soft arc of light,

Chilled in air gone stiff and still,

Begging for hunched voices,

That dare not stir old winds,

From behind sedge and willow.

.

A conversation,

The groans and gripes of water on rocks,

Goodbyes of frogs and leaves and liquored blackberry sunsets,

The gratitudes of full moon clouds,

A gift of rain.

.

Hurry,

The long gaze of night

Will soon turn us to pebble and stone,

Smooth and round, barely colored,

In the fading light.

Part II. Listening to Steelhead.

I cannot counter the edge,

Remarkable, memorable, inexorable

In an odd persistence that wanes in it’s coming.

I cannot shape this space.

Green years, short months and how the day suddenly curves away.

The center is far removed from place and time. Eyes turning to the bright prospects of hard lines on skies.

I cannot yield to grace, as the soft illusions of ease tempt me into the chilled waters.

 

 

Giant Spring Creeks in Afternoon – part I

In mid-afternoon, the wind fails to materialize and the bluff provides a view across an immense, lush underwater garden. The water, lots of it, moves silently through beds of bright green aquatic vegetation. Here and there, fish hold down deep, next to the protective cover of the weed beds, sometimes jockeying for position, but mostly just sitting, almost motionless. Now the river is open and exposed, almost empty looking and untantalizing. Off to the side a small fish noisily splashes after something, a fallen ant, or maybe just the hint of a bug hovering overhead. Except for the splash of that fish, or maybe an upset duck, the water doesn’t make a sound. It just goes about its downhill slide like it always has. How so much moving water can be so silent… Siesta time on a big spring creek.

Summer River

I’m thinking of compiling a bunch of stanzas over the course of the summer, each being a separate evening on the river, and see where it goes. Of course, that begs the question when does summer begin and end!  So here’s an introduction, maybe, followed by a recent evening. We’ll see how this pans out – guess I better spend some time on the water in the evening!

.

The smell of river hangs in the trees.

Dangling on the buzzing songs,

Of birds and bugs.

Heaps of them

Appeared just yesterday!

.

The days don’t seem long,

But they stretch beyond August now,

What they will soon call the dog days.

.

Now, we have frog days,

That linger into this night,

An evening of cricket thickets,

Water noises and screeching night birds.

.

A pulsing choir to send us on our way.

.

Last night, a sudden and certain pause:
Sprays of lightning danced overhead,
crackling off in every direction.
And the last bit of setting sun,
Spilled golden light underneath everything,
Casting a rainbow over the far bank.
 
May31.
And now the rain, showery waves
Wavering by day, singing lullabies by night
This is the rain you were warned about
Where picnics run and hide
And chefs delight in warm dishes from the hearth.
Sustaining, despite our cries for ice cream
and secret swimming holes at the ends of dirt roads.
 
July 11.
Afternoon hangs on here,
Like a cruel gift of time
For people who never give up.
 
 August 4.
Just for a moment,
Afternoon sneaks in a rattling breeze
Shaking little poems from the leaves
Giggling like children passing secrets
In a playground, just before the bell rings.
 
October 26.
Maybe summer exhales in the evening now,
More likely an afternoon,
When sun and light and water play
For just a while, before it all quiets down
But maybe, just maybe,
Summer might tell one last quiet bedtime story.