Feather River

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A week in the deep, remote woods
of the Feather River country.
No media could catch me when
I considered being sociable.
A volume of Rexroth’s Sierra poems
to drool over and consider what has
changed since 1937.

The Alpine lakes are still stuffed
with brook trout, and stars shine
loud and clear amidst the iridium flares
and rocketing space junk.
The children in camp still whisper
bear stories in evening domed tents.

The poet warns about how the
world might become unlivable if
we exceed a population of two billion,
and how we must conserve the
environment, and learn to behold
the beauty of what is here along
with us on this mysterious ride,
where even the animals know
this is not their home.

Somewhere between his lines
crafted on the side of Mount
Tamalpais and those of the southern
Sierra, you wonder if anybody
has listened. But some of the best
back country is still here in parks
for people to come back to their roots,
which are often mixed with Sequoia,
Doug Fir, and Jefferson Pine.

July simply does not have enough days.
It should have three times as many.
Then the long retreats into upper
mountain transformation would be
able to take their full effect on me.
I must settle for the vicarious
in a few words that get kicked around
in the snowy winter, when life goes cold.

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