FIRST POST FROM HIGH FOREST CAMP
THE CHILD YOU TAKE INTO THE MOUNTAINS
IS NOT THE SAME ONE YOU BRING HOME
Her mother has taught her to sign
and she signs she loves you
as she eats her sandwich.
High Camp is a light-filled surprise.
The girl is your granddaughter.
You're taking digital pictures of each other.
You laugh at what the other sees in the other.
You've forgotten you arrived here on skis.
You take a picture of her sandwich and show her.
She looks at it, and smiles.
You missed me, she says.
Uh-uhh, I was taking a picture of your sandwich.
She looks, then smiles.
She'll get in the next one.
She'll remember herself in the bread.
28 January 2011
THESE ARE THE WILDERNESS DREAMS
for Katie, 5
And this is the wilderness, this drive
up Highway 12, where we stop first to see elk
before returning to follow the Tieton River giving us our thirst.
Remembering last night's dream,
you mirror Black Elk, choosing not to reveal it,
saying then it might not come true,
covering probabilities adults
would hear it wrong and not get your world right.
It seems like years ago, Kate,
when I gave you the first dream catcher.
Children do turn into fish,
carrying God stories, and if any mother
is shaman-in-training, it's your Mom.
Lucky girl. But you might be the one.
I learn so much with you on the river.
The Tieton. Fish do give themselves
to people like you and me, giving their bodies.
When Uncle Steven cut the head off that trout,
he kept it from suffering. Yes, the Tieton's
full of mud, and high. Too much rain, too soon.
It's coming from the snow we're going to cross
on skis. Wildcat Creek gives us a chance
to talk about animals living in this forest.
We don't pet the elk because we want them wild.
We want survivors everywhere.
Cougars belong to the cat family.
Wild and wet, long live the wilderness yet.
We're going where the wild things are.
We need this place, and this place needs us.
Be careful. God, too, has a wild side.
27 January 2011
FOREST PRESENCE PRINCESS KATE
Dreaming girl, ascending and descending,
exploring what can and can't be said,
living with dreams, practicing principles
of no secrets, truth-be-yours in high country,
which you carry, prophet-like into lowlands
with music, singing, telling, too, which songs
are heard by all, and which ones given only to you
27 January 2011
SUN SOFTENED CRUST OF SNOW
Uncovers two Chinese threads--
One red, one gold
One says living monks
in T'ien-T'ai Mountains
never heard of Mao
One says Red Guards climbed
down cliffs eradicating
poems of Han Shan
Is that laughter coming from Cold Mountain?
The way to Cold Mountain will never be written
The way to Cold Mountain will never be lost
Han Shan maps the way on wind and snow
26 January 2011
HIGH FOREST CAMP WAKING
Granola with powdered milk
Spring Oolong Tea
Messages from the intuitive world
Mothership outside of the inside
Sandwich of old cheese
Step on boards on snow
25 January 2011
THE TEMPLE OF LIGHT AND OUR LADY
OF PERPETUAL PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
All crosses here come from crossed ski tips
and will get you in trouble,
but make no mistake, no mistakes
in this lodge, filling with light, practicing
to be nothing more than what it is.
24 January 2011
MAY EVERY PRAYER
CONTAIN AT LEAST ONE CHILD
SHOWING US THE SAD DISTANCE
WE HAVE TRAVELED
IN OUR ADULT LIVES
Not that this prayer
would change things
for the children.
High Forest Camp
25 January 2011
HIGH CAMP MONDAY PRACTICE
RUN IN THE MOTHERSHIP
Sadie jumps into the driver's seat
when I pull over at Dog Lake
to photograph dappled images
of water and ice dissolving surface
boundaries. Don't get a thing. First
time for the mothership in these trees.
Mavis Staples sings in the woods.
I have dog food, but don't have ski pants.
Didn't I ski four decades in Levi's.
Two pairs of long johns. I'll be dry
in morning. Walk to lifts
on skis, think of Teresa levitating
in Spain, walking with John of the Cross.
Light pack and notebook. Maria Coffey wanders
the infinite until she touches her moment
in its first renunciating no.
Ski to High Camp. Grand kids,
Coffey documents intuition,
Raining in camp. Snowing in paradise.
a lodge for those who like the outside.
Outsider's Camp, I say to myself.