There is a road I drive
between a friend’s house and mine
To the west
a jagged line of firs
black against the evening sky.
The sky, deep blue
or dusty blue-black
maybe golden yellow
scudding clouds back lit with the set sun
A sliver of moon might
kiss the mountains to the west
Along that ridge of snow-capped mountains
is that a front?
Moving in with rain or snow
but missing our small peninsula
due to a freak of wind patterns
Some days in late spring
red clover blooms
A few weeks later
fields of wild daisies
takes over the west side pasture.
A sign of both growth and decay
a farmer no longer interested in
protecting their investment in the soil
The daisies are stunning
a blanket of white
roots as tough as steel wool
controlling all it touches.
The short drive road leads
into second growth, large timber
you can almost close your eyes
imagine driving this
before the first growth virgin timber was cut
Giant bases of fir and cedar
covered this place since the last ice left
10,000 years ago
I’ve talked to those that saw these hills
before the one-tree trucks hauled them all away.
Exercising caution before I
head down the long hill to home
watching for the police car
a guy who lives near here
sitting in wait
as a cougar looking for prey
I slow to watch for the eyes of his car
sleepily waiting for a fool
to come too close too fast.
There is a sense of place I’ve found
a tempo, and one that I’ve looked for a long time
The shore, the tide, the fog soaked farms
The bawling cattle in the dawn
A garden that wraps itself around me
in the summer night
a thump of a ship passing at 3 AM
waking me from a fitful sleep.
Some nights, late after midnight
listening as the engines slide past
into a series of waves
coming from somewhere
far out to sea.