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.

Another set of Colorado Haiku

What you may notice about these Haiku is that they do not, in fact, have to do with the mountains themselves, as many of the my previous works have. Though these came from my time in Colorado, they were inspired by other sights around me–the city of Denver, for one, the sight of the towering mountain mines for another.

Also, while there are more still to come, I want to say that once again, there may be another brief hiatus on posting as I head north. I will only be gone for a few days, and when I return, posting will resume as normal.

In the meantime, enjoy:

Split the rock below,

Drills bore into deepest hold—

Dead men tell no tales.

Rocky mile high club

Five hundred thousand souls strong

No wonder they smile.

Beyond the pale light

Sleeps the gilded dragon king—

Fear the reigning flame.

Fire on the Mountain

Perhaps its because neither of these posts come with photos, but today I feel struck with the urge to drop two poems on you. The first was about my night ride through the mountains, and like its predecessor, this one is all in the title: a fire on the mountain. This one in particular saddens me for not capturing, but the fire struck as the evening was coming on, high up in the mountains, and I was caught in my car, in the seat opposite it, far and away from the actual site of the flames. What few shots I did get were marred by the glass and the swirl of the smoke.

Even so, I composed a poem of it, as it still struck me, even from a distance. Fire. Destruction. Beauty. We often focus on the destructive power of fire, but like any other element of our world, there is an unrivaled sense of beauty to it. We fear it, but it is only natural. It may herald destruction, but it is also a forerunner to creation, a key part of the cycle of death and rebirth.

Fire on the Mountain

Black skies loom over the valley—

There’s a fire on the mountain

Like a lighthouse in the night

And the smoke is rising,

Lightning sparks the hills

And only then

The houses in the trees.

Of the Beauty of Nature

The Famous Red Rocks

It’s Sunday, which means the latest batch of weekly quotes. This time around, keeping to the tune of my Colorado trip, all are nature-themed. One is actually a poem as well, written by the renowned Lord Byron. Beneath these I have also included another pair of pictures from my travels through the mountains. I hope you enjoy – for there is truly no mortal beauty quite so great as the power and majesty we may behold each day in the world around us.

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.  ~Henry David Thoreau

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.  ~E.E. Cummings


Winter Fire

Trails wind into the heart of winter,

Built serpentine through rock and wood.

The life runs through it,

Bursting through the seams.

White earth rain down

Upon the precipice—

Shield your eyes against the light,

There is fire in the winter sheen.

What will I see?

Dust clouds on the wind

Scorch my skin as I

Break against the rocks.

Blood trails the cracks

And I reach for the summit

But I am nothing to

This peak.

It feeds on my destruction

And colors itself with my

Irreverent dedication.

I must climb

Another step, just one but

What will I see?

Summer Snow

Yep, that's me!

Well I have returned at last from my trip to Colorado. Suffice to say, it was a beautiful trip, every minute of it. I have always felt a calling to the mountains, and I personally feel my brother is a lucky man to live amongst them. Wonderful places–breathtaking scenery, bizarre weather, and the perfect spots for exercise and the embrace of creativity. I now have more than 300 pictures added to my library, some of which you will probably see attached to some of my work in the days to come.

I saw a number of places while I was in-state. From bustling downtown Denver, to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the city of Boulder (about as artsy a town as one might find), among others. Between the sight-seeing and the time spent catching up with family, however, I am proud to say I also accomplished a great deal of work. Both there and on the flight, both in terms of poetry and my novel, I made great headway, and I will be posting the results of the weeks to come.

To start us out, I have a poem inspired by a climb to the heights of the Rocky Mountains where, despite broiling 80 degree temperatures below, a beautiful field of snow awaited, and on the peaks for miles around. A bit breezy, by the way, and I had the brilliant idea of hiking in shorts and a t-shirt. Terrible fun, but a wee bit chilly.

So to begin:

14,000 Feet Above the World

Snowball fights in shorts;

The sun beats down

Atop the world.

Slipping along the rocks

I stumble out to see the world,

And I am Freedom,

Dangling over Nothing

In the summer heat.