Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Palouse

To Nick and his family who seek the upland game

Awaken from slumber to sunshine on a dreamy hillside
A never ending daydream world
Aware but not as the shadows dance with the clouds
Shadows rolling over and down
Over fields of green and gold
Like sitting on the bottom of a stream
As salmon swim above

To blink and rub the eyes
Causes the shadows to slow to a crawl
And hold in the lee
On a warm summer day

Sitting on the hillside
Looking out over a sea of undulations
Stretching to the horizon
Ever on and beyond and on
Large is the expanse
As the waters that divide

Wheat and grass and wheat
Broken by rivulets and hedgerows
And brambles and thickets
And barns and white spired churches
That call of home and heaven

The hills hold the clouds above them
Deep still blue with sun
Soft and warm as a caress
With gravity weighing heavy
As the grass calls and invites
And envelopes and knows

Greens yield to the growing golds
Clouds thicken and coat
Golds turn to grays in the stillness
Calm as a hunter’s gaze
Pointed as the lab
Orange and black against the haze
Search for pheasant rainbows in the reeds
As hills and sky combine

Sleetings follow the heating of the hearth
Cast iron among the coals to guard against
Oil and game sizzle
And the room note fills
Warm as on the summer hillsides
As the frost seeps under the door

Outside the hills now covered
As a soft white wool blanket
They sleep as winter’s moonlight drives
The shadows of night in the lee
Holding against the gales and drifts

Pistoned beasts skate over rivers of ice
Stretching to the horizon
And around the next bend
Speeding through the night
Forever on like the hills that haunt
Endless flight with no worry to slide
As the paths of geese low to the water

Awaken on the hillside
Knowing that the snows have receded
But in the back of the mind
Like a day long ago

The noontime grass has returned
With greens as bright as they can
And darken in the lee

The salmon have returned
To swim above
Upstream towards the setting sun
As they carry you along

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