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Why words?

January 17, 2014

Even though the landscape is familiar, these poems are meditations on the attributes and value of words.

I sat by the lake,
under the hemlock,
flat needles carpeting the ground,
the familiar smell
mingled with close-by cedar.

The wind blew down
from the dry pine ridge,
over the alders below,
bordering the lake.

A lone fir tree towered
on the right,
a lonely sentinel.

We had scrambled up
a short rocky path,
rough steps set
in a pile of boulders,
tossed downhill by the last ice age
and rounded a small bog,
rimmed with hardhack,
blooms turned to brown.

Then over a slight rise in land,
and down to the small lake,
surrounded by rock bluffs
and mountains in the distance.

False box and oceanspray
lined the path,
but when I lay on the mossy ground,
and looked at the sky,

a huckleberry bush
hung over me,
ripe with tiny fruit,
and the sharp spurts of tart juice
wakened my mouth.

Words bring yesterday’s reality
Back to life in the mind
For those of us
Who don’t paint.

Also on words, Email to a Friend 2006 and Before I came to Write  2006.


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