indian summer

We hiked as the sun went down:
the twilight was simple, pines silhouetting against dusk
the darkness came quietly, unobtrusively.

On the way down to the cave, the trail,
or rather, the overgrown bush and branches we crept through,
grew quite steep, and we slid,
our footsteps releasing small avalanches of rock and earth.

The mouth of the cave wasn't large;
planks connecting the outside with the deepness,
water lay beneathe.
(Much less in September than in July, David said.
It's been a long summer.)

I felt spaciousness and caverns,
but where light shone there were walls where I expected rooms,
openings where I expected rock.

We climbed one small chute beside a packrat,
rose to a cavern with distant ventilation hole,
found three bats flying.
All the timber-rat nests had me a bit on edge,
and I squatted, smiling, but shaky,
feeling the eerieness of dynamite holes and darkness.

The walk home, in deep night, took longer (we being slightly lost),
but we kept on, found that hillside field,
followed it to cabin-light.

Well now, the first day of autumn has arrived
but it is still 95 glorious degrees Fahrenheit.

The soccer season ended last night,
and I have said my goodbyes [to my team, to that boy]
and even [one very important] hello [oldest sister-friend].

and I will hold out my arms and welcome Fall,
I will gently let Summer go.


Fog covered sunrise this morning
evergreens and firs growing silently out of the white
we, dressed in down vests, thick socks, boots
strapped canvas bags to our shoulders,
huddled around trees picking Bartlett pears
red and green, we picked every one, climbing the hard ladders,
pouring the bounty into wooden, spidery crates.

My Dad and I walked through the field last night,
the now autumnally greenish-grey field,
counting pine saplings.
The dead and the survivors (only 55 didn't make it this year)
which leaves 200 to become strong Ponderosas--
the best numbers we've ever had!

My Dad, solemn and focused, counts carefully
(for him, tree-planting is no small responsibility),
credits the July thunderstorms, the blessed rain this weekend,
weather that redeemed an unnaturally hot and dry June.

The puppy, its big paws and young face, is growing so fast
soon it will be faithful and obedient
(oh, how I long for a dog)

I have studied so many sunrises and sunsets this summer,
have stood every day under a changing sky
have faced, despite sweet skateboarding and a boy I am quite taken by,
no small amount of loneliness.

But oh, I'm not finished finding stories on windy beaches yet!
My ear is to the ground [the song is in the soil]


you keep asking me what this means
what it means, what it means

that i was wearing linen when our sojournings crossed
that you were dusty, from living so long in a desert

and i met you in a dream carrying suitcases
flowing like water (my name, you see)
because it is the nature of water to want to be somewhere else

the trail turned this summer,
and i can see the autumn in the locusts, now,
i can feel it in the smoke

i told you, your skin was honey
but i can't stop coughing,
even bronze can be too much for these old eyes to see!

and i need the Spirit like the wind on my face
i've been searching for so long among these trees,
looking for the Shining one in so much refracting light
sometimes, dreams are life.