from three bicycle tours
I Central Idaho, July, 2010
Near the western edge of “God’s cathedral,”
the Sawtooths stretch north and south.
Cycling rhythms carry us:
Into the teeth of a wind, we pedal squares,
circles with wind at our backs.
We coast and quicken smooth descents,
ascend in each other’s steady tracks.
Forest and field, mist and sun,
frame the rocky profile:
Dinosaur backs and temple columns,
arrowheads and stairs to frozen air,
chain ring teeth and beacons that summon,
solitary minarets that invite prayer.
II Trout Lake, Washington, July, 2011
From east to west across this wide valley
thunder echoes in the blue-black night.
Deep dreams of unresolved tensions cease.
Lightning flashes the sky to white.
On the illumined tent, pinging droplets
announce the pounding rain to come.
Kettle drums sound, and the pouring down
washes clean the slate of midnight dreams.
III NW Montana, August, 2012
In early light, cold, speechless, we face
the Mission Mountains to the east,
ridge line trees like cloud cover.
At a southern bay of Flathead Lake,
whitecaps and shoreline cuffs and brushes
hint of freshwater fishers of the past.
Through aspen screens we discover
alpine summer on the backbone of the world,
raven shadows gliding glacial paths.
A glassy pond, back-lit by golden wheat grass,
reflects bleached stumps, a remote work house,
rolled bales of hay – and cyclists up ahead.
At Kootenai Falls we are stunned by their roar
and by the roiling pools that feed
the chaotic boil of tumbling, misting white.
The Milky Way, polished necklace of the night,
seems to hold the earth aloft, and we are steadied,
as if tethered to more distant stars.