Tag Archives: Water

A Gutter Full of Leaves (day 2118)

Pitter pitter patter patter
Splashy splashy
Goes that water

Camojawa Longhook (day 2070)

I am sorry kind gentleelk
I have never been to the Rivers Pass
Though I have heard from friends
That the water there
Is exceptionally clear
I once had an Uncle
Who would go every year
For what he would call
Elaksation Elkscursions
Mother would roll her eyes
Whenever he would say this
I would ask him what that meant
And mother would tell him
Not to fill my head with such nonsense.

Watercolour Elk by Ned Tobin

No More Trees, Money’s For Me (day 2064)

It’s ok that we cut down these trees for warmth
Let’s not get upset about our mountain
Turned crater, shipped to the moon,
Our water is a good memory, a clean memory
A clean memory for my dry lips
Afraid of this purple water
Maybe my dinosaur bones will take me home
To a land full of ten year old trees
Where water flushes the land clean
No more dirty top soil: eroded,
Home where the magical golden clouds
Hover just above the skyline, stinking
And water is just slightly brown
Mycelia? No, my bill fold needs more dinosaur bones
To sink into these fresh water lakes
Chopsticks, chopsticks, chopsticks trees
Get these poles off to the mill
Down that road of rubber and oil
More dinosaur bones and I’m ready to kill
Floating at 70 miles an hour
In plastic rocket ships, towing plastic bricks
And you there, strange looking person
How many toes do you have? You’re not one of us
Your skin is funny and your smell’s different
Let me see your papers that say many things
I don’t believe you can grow your beans here
See, my dead trees and stretched metal rings
Say: ‘NO TRESPASSING’
Get out, leave us alone
You’re filling us with lies
Unless you’ve got tits, beers, football, and guns
Money’s for me, and less of you.

Moon at Midnight – Part XXXII (day 2006)

(part XXXI)

Each day I fell more and more in love with Willow
Not to be overlooked was sweet Lily
But Willow was my woman and I her man
And everyday we learned each other more and more
She was patient with me when I needed to learn
Something that most of the young scouts knew naturally
But she could see the desire in my eyes
And she always believed in me
I can only imagine it isolated her a little bit
From the rest of her family
Falling in love with a white man
But then again
Her and Moon Cow were always kind of unique.

She was a good woman
And provided for me in a way I could have never imagined
We grew with each other
And I’m sure I wasn’t like the men she knew, like Lily’s father
We didn’t quite fully understanding each others ways
Expectations of our own cultures
But we were both very patient and considerate
Which allowed us to subtly learn and adjust
To fit.

At night I would lie with her
Smelling her warmth next to me
Feeling her breathing upon my chest
Listening to words she did not speak
But a deep comfort she exuded
She was as kind and interested in me as I her
And our passion frequently overtook us
As the coals on the fire deeply tingled asleep
As the first birds of day sang sweetly.

We would often walk through the forest by ourselves
Looking for herbs or vegetables or roots
Anything really, mostly for ourselves
We would hold hands and stop by little streams
Or our favorite viewpoints
Or little meadows with wild flowers growing tall
And make love to each other
Without restraint, wildly,
And cleanse each other in the refreshing water
After we had enjoyed the buzz
And warm sun on our bodies.

part XXXIII

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Moon at Midnight – Part VI (day 1980)

(part V)

As my footsteps changed slope from uphill to downhill
I crested into a new valley
It was a particularly notable valley cresting
For the view I was afforded stretched from tip to bow
At the far end I could see a tail of smoke rising steady
Hovering for some time at the cloud line
Making its ever looming presence felt
As I looked down and stepped between the pebbles
Dodging in and out of the single-path trail I had been following.

My memory floated back to a woman I once had known
A woman whose smile touched the very essence of a man
Changing him instantly to a friend, forever
I had last seen her walking out of the tack store
In preparation to depart with a fresh pack of jerky
And enough rice to keep me a while,
She had asked where I was off to
And I told her what had honestly come to mind
I shared with her my dream of this land
With leaves the size of a horses head
With trees that bled sugar and turned as red as wine
She looked at me and shaked her head
Scolding that all us men ever want is our devil juice
I explained to her it wasn’t so,
She smiled and knew she was scolding the wrong man
I asked her if she would like to join me
An honest man on an honest journey
To a land beyond, to the East
But she had only replied in jest
Saying: “Honey, I’ve got too many mouths to feed.”

I started at a cracking branch
To my left, not 7 meters away,
I looked and staring back at me
Was a moose, hovering way above my head
He was looking straight at me
Antlers standing so tall and proud
Chewing on a tuft of a shrub
That hung down from the left side of his mouth
He snorted softly as he stared at me
Demanding I respect his space
I nodded back, gave a grunt
And quickly scanned the nearby forest
For any signs of a calf around.

My footstep didn’t stop
Rather, they kept along the trail I went
My heart beating loudly in my cool breath
The words of many an elder echoed in my mind:
“Moose are more aggressive then bears.”
I instinctively touched the blade
That rested at my hip
Foolish to think that such a weapon
Could disengage such a large beast so strong
I couldn’t feel the beast charging
Though I looked to check just in case.

I didn’t relax until I was over the next bend
Which didn’t take long to get
The familiar sound of a creek returned to my ears
No longer wise words warning and uncontrolled heartbeat
Echoing through my every breath
I softly observed the old man’s beard
Growing thicker as I descended into the valley below
Moss crawling higher up trunks of the silent giants
Experienced woods folk always say
That the birds will all be silent when there’s a predator around
So the light whistling of the forest’s inhabitants
The unique call of a raven
Calmed my senses once again.

When I reached a small opening
I dipped my hands in and splashed the fresh creek’s water
To my face, to wash the cold sweat that had gathered
I recognized bear droppings
A short distance from where I sat to rest
Looking at least a week old now
No danger for me, at least for the present
But a sign that they are around
And perhaps some tasty berries, too.

part VII

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Moon at Midnight – Part IV (day 1978)

(part III)

As I sat crosslegged in the little clearing
Hidden as I was, deep within the forest
Heading East to the land of the Old People
I wondered about the faces I might see,
Faces of the men and women who would greet me,
Faces of the children playing in fields
And fields growing with the vigor
Only well cared for fields of tender hands can grow
I knew I would find
In the land of the Old People.

Beside me was a little patch of buttercups
That skirted the edge of deeper forest
Fallen logs and fir needles of this land
I could still hear the brook I had crossed
Calmly gurgling in the distance
My canteen still cold from its fill
My belly still churning from its fill
My fingers still wet and a cold
Only fresh mountain water can give,
A cleaning happily taken
Where I had let my bare feet soak gently a while.

My eyes scanned into the forest
Of an age I guessed ageless
Not a stump to be seen
Finding geometry in naturally fallen trees
Trees standing so tall my guess couldn’t reach
Moss covering so gently
I envisioned the industry nestled
Deep within the safety net of moss
That lay about thickly covered forest floor
Fungus’ mycelia layer hidden well
In healthy circles around the Ancient Giants
Old Man’s Beard hanging low
And spider webs zig-zagging
With its delicate fibers of care.

My pouch was always on me
No matter how far from camp I wandered
So as I moved away from my opening
I felt instinctively for my tools
Stepping over former soldiers
Rotting as life continued its circle
Through the efforts of decay
My soft crunch avoided the mounds
Finding edible mushrooms was easy
This early season of harvest
Upon edges of clearings I’d find strawberries
And blueberries and salmonberry brambles
So thick I’d get high
Feeding so heartily on such sugar
I knew it wouldn’t stay forever.

Fire starting was an economy no man could do without
No sane man that is,
For plenty of nights I’d been cold
In pure darkness of deep night,
But this night I had supple moss
And accessible wood dry enough to start
A warming dance in my blood
Soon the coals were hotter then the wood
That burned inside their whispers

My bed was simply a roll
The hard ground was something I was used to
I carried soft fur of a bear
On the top of my bag
Which I’d lay under my roll
To soften each night’s cold
My dream of a sheepskin
I had read about in books
Of old foreign herdsmen roaming
Highlands of Scotland
But I with my simple roll
Laid out on the ground.

part V

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Moon at Midnight – Part II (day 1976)

(part I)

I woke to complete silence
Yet my knees screamed louder the murder
When I shifted them from slumber
Half crosslegged I had fallen backwards
Into sleep that left smoke trails
Through my dreams.
My nose was hiding itself from the cold
I looked searchingly at the fire
I could feel wasn’t even hopeful.

My pack was close enough
So I knew where matches were
But kindling rested beside my axe
Yet to be shorn from its whole
So were the tea bags that would slowly ooze life
Back into my cold frame
Easily forgetting the eyes of last night’s terror.

I made it a habit not to look back
When I walked away from yesterday’s camp
You don’t need that to remember what’s already known
Like folded socks in the side of my pack
I was well kempt and had a full bottle of water
And the industrious chipmunk
Was happy to see me go
Understood by the sounds of his chatter
That followed me along a path
I was making with my compass pointing East.

My first few steps always remembered
What yesterday so easily forgot
So I stopped and untied my shoe
To clip my nails that were growing healthy
It’s much nicer to put on warm socks
Then cold and wet socks of the first light of morning
And my pack jingled merrily
As I swung it back on.

Scanning the vastness was hard to comprehend
What had alarmed me so easily
The night before,
What creatures our dark mind magically creates,
And now looking back at me was salal so thick
No ghost could sneak through
And my heart reminded my mind
To believe in thy safety one thousand times again.

Slowly my breath found it’s groove
Steadily flowing with each footstep
My packs new bumps settled itself softly
And the world began to expose itself to me
With every step a new angle
A new tree fallen sideways
A slug neatly stepped over
An unidentified toadstool
A river softly gurgling somewhere in the distance
An obstacle I’d have to traverse.

part III

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Sting My Dream (day 1971)

I want to be the sea
Cold water rushing up
Unfurl my tongue
And every cup
Salty hope to sting my dream
Barnicle my soul whole
And flee away low tide
Rattling rocks wash away
Never still and beating on

Knuckle Symbol (day 1836)

Took me on a ride along
To which I was tied tight
Had a symbol on my knuckle
A human rights violation.
As air began to choke,
And smoke thickened over water
And my cement buzzed along
Towards a dotted line.

Ode to an Alpine Lake (day 1768)

How graceful does your movement be
Shallow waters, through which I can see
Teal of blue, my heart for you
Icy waters to cleanse my soul.
And as my breath calms its quest
I reflect in the hazy aftermath
To where my heart echoes through
A long memory, and a calm cup of tea.

Garibaldi lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Whistler, BC

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