Try telling how you found your lost pack.
Try telling how the gray rain cover camouflaged your fear.
Tell how your pack turned to stone.
Tell how you recovered the shame of your childhood.
Remember finding your perfect footprint
walking the other way.
Remember that perfect fit of who you were then,
taking you into that lost place
with such confidence.
This was always the trail.
This footprint your guide.
Your prayer of gratitude is OK.
Your account of the terror remains a better effort.

Jim Bodeen
15 September 2015


Crossing West Fork of White River
where I descend into river channel
after coming through the storm
coming through Carbon Glacier
the practice momentarily gone
a recitation surfaces—combining
Wallace Stevens’ Sunday Morning
with Kris Kristofferson’s
Sunday Morning Coming Down
the descent into memory
coalescing with a sharp turn on the trail
I do remember to get the camera up—
critical moments in capturing
ephemera of the mind—
pellucid stuff—but remember,
the practice is gone. Descending
into the river channel in a flood
of images, I’ve not yet located
the trailhead coming out
on the other side, some 60 yards
on the other side. Gin-clear
on this and unclouded.
Tone-sharp if disoriented
then by beauty and relief
(and who likes the descent
more than this one?).
Light reflecting evenly
from all sides, and led
by trekking poles
carrying my weight,
my eyes are on the trail
for balance, what is lucid
is song, there are no eyes
for coming out the other side.

Crossing water then is easy,
a bit of athleticism going over rocks
furnishing another moment
of aging joy. This is the moment
before the trail turns towards the familiar
and home when I lose my way.
Following spaces in sand between stone
boulders is my mistake,
Maybe this is the trail…
Maybe these sand spaces is…
Begin a crossing through old river channel
right here, balancing,
careful now, careful, over and through
the great rocks, thrilling a bit? Yes,
at the rhythm of the way.
There’s the other side.
But where’s the trailhead?
is the first clue that here I am lost,
without a way forward.

Stop and look around, man.
Get your bearings.
Establish location and get that pack
off your back.
This is the admission of the passage of light.
Channeling Ranger wisdom’s
Ten Essentials Confidence
you have not yet found
the language—
Shine through me light
song of clarity and confession
and prayer awareness.
This isn’t the dark woods.
These are the big stones.
Boulders, man. Boulders.
Fear will arrive before you’ll try prayer.
That will come soon.
That will come when the weight off your back
arrives with your thirst,
lost spring in your legs off rocks.
Pull out that quart of pumped water
you so carefully carry.
Return to your pack.
Locate the way up
from locating the way down.

This is not late coffee and oranges.

These are the voices arriving one at a time.
These are the voices arriving all at once.

You have arrived at the Dynasty of the Rocks.
You have not been given an audience

Jim Bodeen
15 September 2015

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