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Mountain High: Colorado Collage of Poems

Updated on November 28, 2018
The Joy of getting away to the mountains
The Joy of getting away to the mountains | Source
View of Longs Peak from Chasm Lake
View of Longs Peak from Chasm Lake | Source
Aspen gold
Aspen gold | Source

Colorado Collage of Poems

Blue Moon at Rabbit Ears Pass

Well above nine thousand feet,

we stand with cameras in hand

waiting for the sun to set

and later for the moon to rise.

As the sun sinks to the west,

strands of cloud turn pink and

then to forest-fire orange,

while eastern clouds are fringed,

first with rose and then with red.

But here comes the moon, being

the second full moon this month,

as a chalkish-orange globe that

gives the high stone rabbit ears

just a tinge of color before

they darken in paler rays of moon.

Transcendent Colors of Aspen Trees

Two aspens at our window

quake in each gust of wind

displaying a composite of

color beyond their white bark,

and yet, between the breezes,

individual leaf colors vary

from decayed brown to pale

yellow to bright orange to

unchanged green, but it is,

as with stained glass, the

transcendent whole that counts.

Bending to the Will of the Wind

Aspen trees tremble

as Colorado Mountain winds

thrum through their leaves

with some gusts forcing

them to bend to their will.

Muskeg Hopping

High in the tundra

far above tree-line,

my dog and I go

cross country through

spongy, boggy muskegs

like some Jack London

characters except that

we are not in the Arctic,

but in alpine Colorado

glistening with muskegs

or puddles and ponds

of snowmelt connected

with rippling or gushing

streams and surrounded

by marshy flowers like

pink elephant's head

and yellow alpine avens

or rosy queen's crown

and purple king's crown.

Up here all is silence

except for the sounds of

water and sloshing feet

under brilliant blue skies

laced with cotton clouds.

Multiple Views of Longs Peak in Haiku

At a high rise just

east of Fort Morgan it peeks

over the plain's rim

Closer, Longs Peak looms

above the rolling prairie

for a hundred miles.

Far up to the north

rises Longs Peak through buildings

of downtown Denver

Seen from the far south

atop a snowy Pikes Peak

Longs appears quite dark.

Lone rancher looks hard

through wispy cottonwood trees

at block-shaped Longs Peak.

Rosy finches fly

in migration straight upward

to summit this peak.

Lakes begin to freeze

obscuring reflections of

Longs Peak now so white.

If it's ten below

zero down here what the heck

is it way up there?

In gulches below

a towering white Longs Peak,

chokecherries blossom.

High in Estes Park

its mass takes your breath away

as you stand and stare.

Should you dare ascend?

Perhaps in a day or two

you just might try it.

Ute legend claims that

eagles were trapped atop this

rock for their feathers.

Longs Peak, to climb it,

requires a bit of a risk,

but oh what a view!

You stand high on top--

stars fade and prairie below

comes into full view.

As you return home

and look back at that giant,

your bones tell the tale.

The Clouds of Trail Ridge Road

First came the gray stratus clouds,

and then white mist hoods atop

the jagged Never Summer Range,

then the down-drafts of ghost-like

clouds sinking into Forest Canyon

with spider-webs of spruce-scented

fog rising straight up as though we

stood along the shoreline of Alaska's

Coastal Range, hiding a deep blackness

with just a pinch of sunlight poking

through, and only after several hours

of this cloud show does massive

Longs Peak emerge, frosted with snow,

a touch above layers of silvery cloud,

and flashes of lightning down below.

Skin of the Earth

Down Ute Mountain way

the earth stretches out

from buttes and mesas

with dark, shadowy streaks

in rarified air that

makes you stare far

into space of land,

of sky, of rock, of a

grand immensity that

somehow reminds you

of dark elephant skin

that is rough yet smooth,

all under cotton-ball clouds

lit with a brilliant sun.

Cliff Palace Ruins

Way down Mesa Verde way

in southwestern Colorado,

rises Cliff Palace within an

arch of a sandstone cliff

where hundreds of rooms within

a pueblo served as home

for one hundred people and

countless ancient visitors who came

to trade or to pray within the kivas,

each kiva having a shaman

who danced on wooden planks

to make a drumming sound

as he retold the story of our

creation when all the people came

from the inner world to see a

bright new world of sunshine

and yucca pods and cactus

far below thunderheads lit up

by thrashing lightning to shed

sheets of rain that nourished crops

of corn and squash and many beans.

But now as you look in utter wonder,

it all seems to be but a dazzling dream.

Preacher's Hollow in Autumn:An Amulet

On the western side of Pikes Peak,

peeking through the quaking aspen,

aspen that almost hide the trail,

trailing down to a wooded hollow,

a hollow where a lone preacher

preaches to mountain folk gathered,

gathered all together to hear a preacher,

preaching the unity of mind and spirit,

the spirit of man, spirit of Nature,

a nature of lichen-covered rocks,

rocks amid aspen and spruce trees,

and trees so tall they touch the sky,

a sky full of sun and golden warmth,

warming the body and spirit of all,

all who stand in this very hollow,

a hollow where they hear bugling,

a bugle of a lone and antlered elk,

an elk whose bugling fuses with words,

words that preach the unity of spirit,

on the western side of Pike Peak.


Have you ever hiked in the high mountains?

See results

Colorado High

© 2015 Richard Francis Fleck


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    • juneaukid profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you very much--I appreciate it, Audrey

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      4 years ago from California

      What a beautiful set --skin of the earth is probably my favorite here--yoour work is wonderfully visual

    • juneaukid profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you ignugenti

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      A beautiful poem and a wonderful experience.

      Voted up and more :-)


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