Solstice Tanka

I wanted something suitably nature-oriented for this special One Shot Wednesday – since the party begins on Tuesday, after all, and this Tuesday is the summer solstice, the longest and (hopefully) most beautiful of days. My inspiration seemed cut off by grey clouds this morning, sadly, but with the afternoon there seems to have come a break in the haze of summer, treating my muse to blue skies and colored fields. In that same vein, I tried to step outside my usual, and go for a touch of tanka.

Hope the weather’s treating you all as kindly. May it be a fertile day for creativity!

Mother dances green

Before Father’s skyward kiss.

Sweet husband Golden

Pirouetting long shadows

Across her blossom billows.

And here’s a bit of greenery to put a little summer slant into your day…cheers!

Image property of: Chris Galford.

Raking out the death…

Starting off the week right, with a little haiku for you all. Hope you enjoy:

Raking out the death

bares green, reaching light of life–

Zen repetition.

This is also being put out there for the Monday Poetry Potluck, as hosted by those lovely poets Amanda and Kavita!

Elemental Elation

Bear me up

Rustling cavalcade of coalescing

Music rush, on tempo speed

These breaths across my skin.

The harmony

Of your exultation

Gives me strength

Beneath my wings.

Crystal flow

Caress and coax

The resolution of my being,

Dive down into the deep.

Crash upon

The shores of apathy

And stir upon us yet the storms

That break inequity.

Quick-step

Quivering motions elate

To find the kiss, the touch of motion

In the sensuous sway of your dance.

No hands

Could ever hold thy hips

This beat, thunder of thy solitary

Moment, unbidden.

Bastion

Rampart revelry of life

Shield yet the passions of hope,

A dream of majesty.

Resolute

Mother-being enfold

The world in thy being:

Ground this flighty soul.

* For the latest Monday Poetry Potluck!

Beneath the Waves

Photo by Chris Galford

White water rush,

cool crystal commence

the crashing of my flesh

subverted in the waves

of vigorous caress,

still on, this mountain roar–

a silent stillness, in the drink.

Morning Elegance

Star-crossed lovers lie

Snoring in the sand

Waiting on the rose-tipped caress

Of dawn’s fair light,

But the sun catches like

Little crystals in the waters

And they are sleeping through

The glitter and the glare.

The runner’s smile

Warms the streets as they rise

Amidst the shadows of red glare—

Early to rise

And early to rest,

Not like the frantic typing around

Those battered tables—

Early to rise

And early to work,

A desperate cry for more coffee is

As much a sign as these

Gleaming starlets

Carried in the sunlight,

Shimmering in the haze.

Dew drops beneath the leaves,

The covers dip beneath the waves

Of majesty and trees

Swaying in the breeze.

Birdsong, so ponderous in sleep

Uplifted in the daylight—

Just keep away those woodpeckers.

The body screams,

The mind elates

To greet this

Morning Elegance.

Blackest Blood

Black blood breathe

beneath the rocky deep

burn bright and high

waves broil, frothing

into the flames of your passing

but the gold-toothed smile

burns brighter still.

Sizzle, sizzle, boil and bubble

worlds part before

the tremble of your passing–

send tremors to the core

of all the staunchest hearts

come hell or high water

There will be Blood.

Wounds fester

like blisters burst

your fevered pitch defies

the madness of their dreams–

the sky and the sea weep black tears

and all are consumed–

come Death or Life.

Pressure before Storm

There is a tingle on the wind

Like thunder in my skin

The air breathes

And the light quakes—

Shivers, breaks—

Such force is this!

This sudden heat,

This fireless heat

That beckons from the clouds.

The world elates to hear

The fury of its passing.

A Catalog of Colorado

It’s been several weeks now since I returned from Colorado, and aside from a few shots used to accentuate some of my poems, I’ve not posted all that many shots from the trip. This is to set things right. Though I took hundreds of shots while out and about in the mountainous state, I have selected a few here as a sort of highlight real for the trip. WordPress, I think, would be quite upset with me if I tried to upload everything. In fact, I think I’d be liable to break the bloody system.

So here, in a nutshell, is my trip. What better inspiration could one have asked for? Sights featured in my shots include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Red Rocks and Red Rocks Amphitheater, my brother and sister-in-law’s home, and just a few shots from the more nature-inclined areas around Denver, CO.

Moya and Ares

The family.

Red Rocks Amphitheater

My brother, Jim

The folks

At the top of the world.

Moose!

My sister-in-law, Cassie.

Simplicity has its Moments

The bay along which Traverse City is nestled, in the upper reaches of Michigan, swarms with an all-together common critter of the coasts: the Seagull. As I sat along the coast, staring out over the lake, it was hard not to notice them fluttering all about, crawling on the rocks and wandering the beach, only to take wing once more to try their luck in lakeward dive-bombs.

It was they, coupled with the beauty of the scene itself, that inspired this next poem:

Beside the bay,

I heard the seagulls crying;

Oceans stretch beneath the sky

Till blue entangles blue

And miles become but one more breath—

There is air and there is water

And somewhere in between

The mountains rise and fall;

See the coast is glittering

And the sun is in the sand—

Beside the sea,

All man is set to dreaming

Of the land beyond those sapphire rings—

The gulls have all the world

But all they want is food.

A Photographic Tour of the Sleeping Bear Dunes

Before I post my second poem from my trip into the “great white north,” it occurs to me that some of you might not be familiar with the Sleeping Bear Dunes, which was an important part of my trip. So allow me to tell you about one of the most curious aspects of life in Michigan, with the assistance of some of the photos I took while I was away.

Sunset on the Water. Traverse City, MI.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes encompass a 35 mile stretch of coast along Lake Michigan, the largest freshwater lake bordered exclusively by the United States (pictured above). The park was established for its breathtaking variety of natural features, including forests, beaches, and dune formations, as well as its historical connection to the glacier movements of old. The “bear” for which it was named was actually a small tree-covered knoll at the uppermost part of the bluff that. Sadly, wind and erosion have since caused the “bear” to dwindle over the years, leaving me without a photo for you.

Big and Little Glen Lakes

That’s a 450 ft. drop to the lakeshore, by the way.

The dunes were shaped by glaciers thousands of years ago, and evidence of their passing is still found in the diversity of the terrain, as well as the vibrant ecology of the environment. The national park that preserves them today was established in 1970, but the dunes themselves have never stopped growing. In fact, they are growing a little more every year–perhaps only by a few feet annually, but over time, that adds up.

Today, trails like this wind through miles of Pine and Beech-Maple Forests, all along the Dune.

There’s sand here. Lots and lots of sand.

Weather along the lakeshore and the dunes are actually a bit bizarre for those unfamiliar with them. The seasons are heavily influenced by winds crossing over Lake Michigan as they have a cooling effect in the summer and a warming effect in the winter. So temperatures remain somewhat moderated at most times of the year.

And that, friends, is a look at the beauty of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. I hope you like what you see, and consider a trip up north some time. It’s certainly worth your time!