Monday, February 23, 2015

Jordan Mountain

The sun rises over the crest of the Sierras
Between Jordan Mountain and his mate
Where he has more gravity this time of year
To draw and pull the body towards him

Illuminating her south facing slopes first and foremost
Lifting her to grace the day before him
As the valley between them rejoices in the glory
Of the morning rays flooding the treetops

Two green isles on either side
Rising to meet the day as one
The gurgling brook between them calls the dance
Inundating the tune with quiet rhythm

Before them lay the sequoia belt
Glowing golden rose amongst the pine
Written down like ancient runes upon the rock
Ornaments of efforts united once more

For this is the way of things
The beginnings of the High Sierra
Bold mountains stretched along ridge lines
Reaching for the heavens in all their merriment and unwavering accord

For Chappy and Dee

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Poison Meadow

Had some time last Sunday to get out to the woods. So I headed up to Poison Meadow in the Sierra National Forest. Beautiful day in the middle of yet another unfortunate dry year here. Drought has still gripped the land shown by the lack of snow here at elevation. But still, got to play with a few sharps, smell the woodsmoke, and enjoy the quiet peace.

By the time I got around to making a fire to brew some tea, it was later in the afternoon. The Super Bowl would be starting soon, and I didn't want to miss too much of it.

So after what seemed like forever trying to use a fire steel and failure after failure.........

........ I used a lighter.....

Coulda used a match. Coulda used flint and steel. Coulda tried a bow drill. But no. I had enough frustration.

Anyways. Made some mistakes. Learned some things. Still had a great time. Still able to write about it. Took some pics. Made a little movie. Made it back before halftime.


Sometimes you need a little help
To start the fire within
To get the tea brewed to quench the thirst
To find peace through the turmoil

Struggles and failures viewed upon the smoke
Their words linger in the air
And breath deeply
Embedding themselves in the moss

Where they come to rest for the long nights ahead
Held in a tangle of green and gold
Quiet in the darkness
Only to emerge as the afternoon sun warms them again

For they are often not the best teacher
With their chains of shame holding down
Poison to flush clean from the mind
Where memory's loss may be the remedy

But on occasion along the meadow's edge
They spark sudden with brilliant illumination
Remembrances of wrongs and the amendings
To right the ways that lead to water

It is ok to make small mistakes
As long as you strive not to repeat them
To learn from them and move on
To laugh at yourself in the winter sun

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mad River Blues

Time slips by slowly
Under rain soaked roofs
Resting sullen in Mad River bottomlands
Gray haze of ocean and air
And green hills rolling under redwood stands

Our slickers shed the deluge from above
Relentless and determined to soak the bones
Only with grace shall we survive the rising waters
Of life lived between oblivion and these changing tides

Further inland
Mountains can be seen building beyond the hills
Hills cut deep and wide from eons ago
By this slow maddening torrent tumbling down

We roam the ridges
Above this river
And relish in these towering groves
Reaching above sword fern and salal

Edged with tan oak and madrone
Joined with alder and laurel
Air blown in so fresh and alive
You can feel it move through you

Other times
We come upon stranger creations
Smolderings along the highway
Glowing in the waning light of dusk

Dark gray sky
Of cloud and smoke and mist overhead
Deep black green forest
Above the orange light of the coaled understory

Prescribed burn I thought but no one watching
One side of the highway in slow creeping blaze
The other lush and green of Doug fir and pine
Waiting as if it hadn't a care

No one tending to this reduction of fuel
Which could jump the road with anger
And wreak havoc on the hills
Someone assuming it'll be alright

Salmon working hard
To swim against the currents
As the floodgates slowly open

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Porcupine and the Malamute

Now that looks painful
Was it curiosity that got ya into this
Or brash temperament on your behalf
Either way, it's turned out bad

Halfway between home and Bluff Cabin Lake
The trail grows dark in the shade
Of cottonwood, aspen, and spruce white and black
Where strange creatures walk old glacier dust

We've leisured long on lake shore sands
In the full sun of midsummer days
But now were gonna have to rip those out boy
And learn to heed the master's call

Oh we'll still run off into the dark woods
Through deep spruce thickets and rose hip brambles
Just watch your step when instinct demands
Lest you get a snout full of quills to suffer the pluck

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cotton Mouth

Strange winter storm outta the south
Sends pink cotton spun clouds at sundown
To rest atop the big rock candy mountains
Sending a thunder of sugar upon their slopes

A little honey to soothe parched throats
Lick sweet crystals paused on cracked lips
Change the music box tune up a little
And get back in the game
Of cookin' up syrup from the sap in the pans

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Return to the Land of the Ahwahneechee

More of a longing to practice bushcraft than an outing of me actually Doing. An ode to bushcraft if you will. Also of a people and of a land. Some older pictures and words used here before, but mixed with new ones and in movie form. We get out when we can and do what we can. Yet even if little is done, we learn more along the way with every minute in the wilderness.