‘Life’ in the High Country
by Erin E Kelly-Moen
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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The last Safeway-slab of wood
sputters on the fire. I’ve poked
its charred husk, still, only smoke
flutters up; no more flames of flicking
figures sporting fantastic colors of heat
exchange. Purple, red, bright, incandescence
and orange, white, yellow and blends,
watched from 15ft. away. No heat, no smoke,
no contact except to look, occasionally to poke.
Strangely refreshing, campfire’s lack of
provocation, its intent and symbolism, and
un-create-ive forces. I wanted to ‘movie it’,
my phone’s memory was full, tried the camera,
red-flashing battery, oh, great! Nothing imaged
Into future prosperity, it’s only in my head.
Suddenly, everything seems dimly clear, here,
in Fool Hollow, on top of my Arizona world,
at the moment, calm, dark, cool and unchaotic, unlike
before, when my daughter spotted a tarantula
briskly walking its business, out from under the RV,
and the skunk she confronted, flashlighted, compounding
‘last night’ Labor Day camping! No one’s
been out here much since then but me. I go and flip
the skeleton wood, again, hoping it will catch alight,
Not to be, it is at its end-before, even more…
My hosts are watching satellite TV inside, movie-sounds
only feet behind me, frogs and things make night noises,
down below at the lake, the wood coals spew a crackle
or two, joining in. Sometimes, a louder-than-normal auto
faint-growls itself into the quiet. Strange, to be in the middle
of the eve of leaving nature, heading home tomorrow. Right now,
Ponderosa pines ‘state-camp’ me, in the dark’; small-cool breezes
stir living needles, whispering enchantment, spiders stay away.
I’ve been checking, with a flashlight, around my feet, just to be
safe. The fire’s almost dead, the movie almost over, soon, I’ll
have to go in, and sleep. Sometimes, I wish I could stay away(ke)
forever. But, what does that get you? Life?
Erin Elizabeth Kelly-Moen
© Copyright 9/6/10
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|Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan
|this is such a peaceful time it seems-i like the feel of this|
|Reviewed by John Flanagan
|This is right up there, Erin, a personal experience related in the highest, richest terms - intimate, reflective, questioning, sane but tinged with a certain sadness that comes from understanding the human condition, perhaps understanding it too well.
|Reviewed by jude forese
|i certainly imaged your nature/camping experience with ease, affection and envy ... when i was younger, i used to camp a lot but never in the depths (or heights) you have ...a very well written memoir ...|
|Reviewed by Felix Perry
|I enjoyed this personal glimpse into your camp-out and as a lover of the outdoors and especially of a campfire at night...all that was missing was some more firewood.