Moonlight Sonata

I stand in the garden watching a crescent moon hover above the tips of the fir trees.  The thrushes surge in their singing as they do at that twilight hour and the newly arrived swallows swirl about the eves. Music drifts out an open window and I realize it is my son playing piano.  Playing…

Let Me Confess

I heard the buzzing like a crying child or a siren in the night. A wail or a scream. Except it was a house fly and I was brushing my teeth. But I knew it was the sound of struggle. The sound of a fly battling a spider. Have you heard it? The distress call…

Drift

Summer and the day drifts and shifts away. Like clouds. Shape of a rooster or whale. Shaded patterns along grasses. Branches that bend against sky. Or leaves. Dappled.  There are shouts of a man and the bark of a dog.  Voice of an owl calling,  in an evening,  as the day slips, as you study…

How to Build a Wall

They say to build a wall one brick at a time. Or stone. Or rock. Build with whatever you have. Or can afford. I have built walls. I have. Stone walls. Wood walls. Log walls. For houses. On trails. Retaining walls. Barrier walls. Protective walls. And fences. I have built fences. With post and wire….

God Is Here

When I last travelled the desert, I passed this one empty house.  It was along a flat stretch of highway.  A straight away nearly twelve miles long. Springtime was busting out.  The desert filling with promise. Green spotted the hills and I could see dots of little yellow flowers. And rain.  Rain was loving the…

Fire

The plume rises before us.  White and billowy.  We watch from across the valley. Then walk back to our camp by the lake.  The beautiful alpine lake snug against steep cliffs – where remnants of snow cling to rocks on the far side. It is the place we pick to monitor the fire’s behavior.  To…

Zanzibar

“I could put  my cigarette out in it,” the man said and laughed a little.  Blond and tall and lean, he rolled the window up to keep the ashes from blowing back in his face, making the jeep unbearably hot. It was barely past breakfast. “It’s only kerosene,”  he said. Jay and the girl rode…

Geese

A spring, not so long ago,   I discovered two Canada geese in the field by the blue pool.  A spring when my father was still alive.  The pool is a luminous ribbon of water that arches away from the river and cuts across a fallow field.  I visit this part of the river often. Follow the…

Making Cider

There is the day your friend visits and finds the  trees  heavy with  fruit.  Ripe. Rotten almost.    The apples  riddled with worms.  You’ve  let them drop to the ground.   One after another.  Hoping a bear will come.  Or  deer.  To eat the apples. Your friend says, you know these will make great cider, right? …

Methow Valley

I heard you grieve little has been going your way in the hills and valley of where we stand in the wind on a ridge above a valley, deep into pine and oak, lupine and sunflower. Deep into the learning of creatures small or ungulate, like the ones grazing the meadow, below. Maybe you know these…

Jellyfish

“Do it again,”  the kids yell.  They crowd around as my husband leans over the side of the dock and traces his hand through the water.  Flashes of green spark in the water.  We all bend toward the water and splash our fingers, making trails of color in the dark. “Bioluminescence,” my husband says and…

Over the Hills

She resolved not to cry. Not then. Not  ever. No matter what he did. He could be mean as he wanted, smash everything into a million little pieces. “Mustangs are not orange,”  her sister said, wagging her finger at her.  It was that blank time between Christmas and New Years and they were on their…