By Tricia Knoll
silver is glint on pine needles,
work for moon on woods.
Light vanilla for cracks
in shifting continents
of ponderosa bark.
Ochre orange and red pumice
cinder roads bend, flame orange
for Indian paint brush
and alpenglow’s thin birdsong.
Deep blacks wrought-iron
cowboys, bronco busting, crusted wire
to underbelly of frog,
juniper twists, skink’s tail,
night’s plangent soft song
to star holes,
Late afternoon wind
sun-shifts, scours trees, sweat and grasses
white like the eye of mountains,
slow snow melt riffling
cold as the dog shakes,
under rumble of blue pick-up trucks.
Slather on rusted gates creaking opening,
clanging shut where brown cows follow
zipper-green creeks and sorrel horses blow hot.
A grasshopper splats on the boardwalk.
The wild turkey lumbers up
a steep gravel road without shade.
Two black cats
hide in sagebrush
from my wet brush.
Poet’s Notes: Sisters (pictured) is a beautiful spot in Oregon just over the mountains from Portland.