The Land of Plenty (Canada/Montana)

Other Place

take three steps into the forest,
there’s a mythic creature
somewhere here. I first saw it when I
walked through the douglas firs,
fresh snow and a silent doe.
I heard it was clear, as a blue-sky-day
but I couldn’t find it there either. I checked with the mosses,
shoved in the cracks and soddy spaces
and they told me I must be looking too low.
I went back to the books to ask again
I asked and they told me it was far
far, far away and
when I saw it I would know—
the Sublime, venerate, wouldn’t cower away from me
or the trails that led me there.
once though, when I found it perched neatly on
a rocky precipice at the peak of a
mountain, I looked to see its outline,
tried to gauge the colors of its fur,
I must’ve blinked or tried too hard.
so when I turned,
It flew away like a skittish bird
left me staring, dumbly, at the telephone poles
and old country roads, dusted trails and highways
that mapped out our places,
grid-like carways, lined with neat rows of
bushy trees that’d lost their space
stood tall and straight, sized to fit in our
self-made-image of Cultivator
creator, and perpetrator
of our own extrication.
built palaces and started lying about
the names of our neighbors, calling them gardens instead of wilds
they say it’s only ‘Wilderness,’ without us in it.
building ourselves enclosures, instead of greeting exposure.
where is it? I looked
everyday and I swore I could see
it everywhere. as a child does
I found it in every leafy green and blinking
crow, yes that one eating garbage,
does it start when I can’t hear the cars?
they tend to travel really far in valleys and tunnels.
does it stop when lights turn bright blue, because I’ve
seen, there’s creatures in the deep that do that too
maybe it’s when I start to see the stars
maybe it’s when I start to see
the stars for what they really are,
scale for a model that should
make us realize we’re smaller
than we think we are.
when did it start? I think
we stopped counting ourselves
in the trees, starting using names
that made us and Them
so we didn’t have to look in the mirror and see
ourselves mixed-up
with the world we had cut-up and conquered
mixed-in with our own muddy refuse.
we eschew our homes in nature
so it’s easier to ignore our neighbors.
out of sight, our minds hold
the history of the Wild
as myth, but treat the fiction
We wrote, like it was writ
in the stone of the mountains.
~Wyatt Stevens (from his Keystone/Quest U.)

Stand Tall

each day above

watch with eyes of

shadowed time

what stops the bear

from dancing on your

streaked and weathered face

gilded scars of passersby

shake storied shackles

held tight to stone

slick and salted winds

warp with ice the

tracks of snakes

brush with trees

the balding peaks

the palid sky

stand tall to

tales as to

the moon

~WS (From his Keystone/Quest U.)

It was a surreal 5 weeks back in the civilization we once knew so intimately. Now, after 3 years on the boat, this trip (our 2nd) was more challenging because we were rather hurried, our time was split between Canada and Montana and we were tasked with boat jobs and a battery of regular medical checks. Nevertheless, we miss our loved ones mightily and however brief and chaotic, we feel re-invigorated now out at sea again, having immersed in that pot of gold called home.

I try not to be a slave to the camera on these trips, but consequently, the pic representation is spotty and the shots I do have, in many cases, are pretty weak. If we shared some joy and it’s not seen here, know it is being held in our hearts. Miss you already!! 

3 thoughts on “The Land of Plenty (Canada/Montana)”

  1. recognized the graduates poem immediately, it’s so yummy. Thought the Keystone Presentation was his professor until second review! Glad you survived that climb, sis. Whew. The selfie-taking tourist at Grand Prismatic cracked me up. Pics of the whole family priceless. What a nice synopsis of your whirlwind time on the mainland and cheers to our fortunate overlap in MT!

    1. Ha, I thought of you when I took that pic of Mr. Selfie! This post was as hasty as the whole trip itself! And although it was brief, I would have been sick if I didn’t get to see you and Mom. So grateful for that. xoxo

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