Category: Nature

THE ALBATROSS OF THE PLAINS

Beavers’ teeth never stop growing so they chew on wood to keep them at a manageable length. If they didn’t maintain them their teeth would eventually grow into their brains.

THE ALBATROSS OF THE PLAINS

I shot a beaver in my youth
who cursed me with this curse

My teeth
will be your poems now

remembering our gift unused
grows fatal to the brain

ATHABASCA

ATHABASCA

Along the Icefields Parkway
(prettiest road in the world)
winding from Lake Louise to Jasper
lies a glacier that feeds three oceans
(Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic)

It takes a hundred years for a snowflake
falling on the top to make it to the bottom

Before a snowflake that falls today
finishes its journey the glacier may be gone

On the other side of the road in spring
water falls down a long face of rock

They call it the weeping wall
it may still be there

BEARS

BEARS
(for Mildred on the train)

Up the stubbled cheeks
of the Canadian Rockies

A morning kiss before
they wake to show their teeth

A breath of cold mist
surprising as the surgeon’s slap

Out the window, hills
great Grizzlies deep in sleep

Fir tree fur
warming humps and rumps