Tag Archives: poems

Priest Lake Woodpecker

woodpecker

A commotion arises

Sounds filter through the pines

A sense of urgency, panic, pain

Four frantic children yelling at their dogs

Spaniels after an injured bird

A ten-year old holding one back

Skin torn, flesh exposed, leg broken

The woodpecker had injured its leg badly

Attacked earlier by a raven or other animal

An elderly bird near journeys end

Two neighbors arrive and set calm to the panic

The retired logger speaks softly to the children

Tells them to leave the bird alone, in peace

That it will die later that day

He would have ended the bird’s misery as a younger man

Nearly seventy, he feels connected

He and the bird are both old and traveling the same path

He sees himself in its eyes, lacking the heart to end its life

The second neighbor is much younger, has yet to face his mortality

He has a kind spirit and comforts the bird

Transfers him to a cage in a darkened shed

There the bird rests quietly

Once proud and stately, climbing the tallest trees

Reduced now to an immobile heap of feathers

By late evening he is gone

Buried in the garden beneath his favorite tree

Priest Lake Guilty Pleasure

Her guilty pleasure was not new to me,

I have been touched by her before.

Twelve years ago I buried my father,

The next day I visited her with my daughters.

It was the place he loved most and that feeling had been passed on,

Three generations strong.

We swam that day without a care,

Slipping into her soothing waters as the world fell apart around me.

Her clear water releasing the stress from my soul,

Water neither hot nor cold, embracing the body whole.

The feeling comes not often,

But come it did the other day.

Fire-fighters from faraway places battled a fire that threatened her,

Risking all to save the forest.

I slipped into her waters that afternoon.

As they fought flames on unforgiving terrain,

I soaked in her warmth.

The stress eased from my being,

Laden with guilt, suspended in her embrace.

The serenity, the peace.

Smoke in the distance; tasted with each breath.

There I lie floating; without a care.

Filled only with guilty pleasure

 

Welcome Summer Rain

I hung laundry and it began to rain,

A rain we have missed for some time.

The forests surrounding our mountain lakes are dry,

And on fire.

Crews have been sent from far to save our forests and lakes.

We can’t do it alone,

They can’t do it alone.

We need help from God and today he provided.

The rain fell steady and may give our crews the edge they need.

Rain without lightening—a blessing.

Our community is indebted to the fire crews,

We know them a bit, through their pictures on Facebook.

They look tough and dirty and hot,

And fearless and strong and able.

We repay them in small ways—cookies, cold drinks, other necessities.

It is not enough, yet it is all we can do.

And it helps.

It helps them and it helps us feel a part of the fight.

The fire will be put out,

The crews will head for the next venue.

We will remember them,

We hope they will remember we cared.

Priest Lake Morning Fog

Its early morning, tea time

I gaze toward the dock

A kayak glides silently from the fog

Could it be?

She steps onto the dock

Filtered sunlight on her long soft hair

An open, welcoming smile

The memory of her perfume, the warmth of the morning sun

She waves her hand, I lift mine in return

I sip my tea

And like the girl, the memory fades

I’m sixty now, not sixteen

The morning fog lifts from the lake surface

It’s gonna be a good day

Priest Lake Sandpiper

sandpiper

Trimmed the grass along our beach wall,

 Used a scythe to cut it down.

 I saw a brown bird so small,

 It made a piping sound.

 A long narrow beak and skinny legs,

 Protecting a small nest containing three eggs.

 It was a Sandpiper nest I had found.

 With kids and dogs the nest was in danger,

 I put up a structure to serve as a manger.

 Not long after to our delight,

 Those Priest Lake eggs hatched and the birds did take flight.

 The beach is not ours it is there to share,

 With our lake animal friends and those in their care.

 

Sunrise on Sherwood Beach

Sunrise over Sundance, streaming light into my room

Washes across my face, like sand on a deck chased by a broom

I could sleep another hour into the new day

But the sun announces it is time to awaken and play

Alas, for this day I have no plans

I shall enjoy quiet reflection on the Priest Lake sands.