Wild America in Four Poems
Wild America (poetry)
Along Lake Ontario's Shore
Cold enough walking here
along Ontario's shore,
gray clouds weeping in
to rustle leafless trees
buried in deep white snow.
Eider ducks and gulls tread
icy water of protected coves
just beyond the reach of
pounding surf and frozen
spray feathering shoreline
rocks and podded sumacs.
Each wave, each gust of wind
infuses the mind with a
living presence much akin
to one's own temperament.
Parted cattails, mostly gone to seed,
reveal splash of white rippling in
cold waters of a Charleston swamp
until heron, neck craned, strides with
graceful acumen along the misty shore,
his lordly winter whiteness lending
emphasis to dankness in spirit despite
presence of live oaks scattered here
and there entangled in Spanish moss green
enough to hearken spring from death itself.
"Amoo'ooh! with you, the cliff comes alive."
--Leslie Silko, Ceremony
Lone eagle swoops at sandstone contours
as if to seize geologic energies
locked in petrified solidity
where deep red sandstone columns,
red as Sioux warriors against a
bulge in swirls high above the prairie
harboring a field mouse or two.
Islands in the Stream: The River Platte
The River Platte appears
as a bright band of blue
about to twist through the
woodlands creating islands
of sandy beaches studded
with gnarled cottonwoods
whose branches stretch like
octopus arms sucking at blue
sky and telling of a time when
Arapaho encampments fill
the air with pungent smoke
from campfires where stories
are told of many strangers
coming from the East, only it
is now when, as always, A Platte
flows past thin islands of memory
and dreams of strange things to
come, when stars will fill the
sky as spiraling orbs far above
a very parched and lone prairie.