Tuesday, September 9, 2008



Should you be granted the luxury
of listening to a creek, you'll hear
sounds inside sounds, trickles within
rushes, and a constant water-sigh,
an exhalation of sound. Memory
hears names of alpine creeks: Deer
Creek, Haypress Creek, Hackman
Ravine. There's the unnamed creek
that carries water from the abandoned tunnel
of the Monarch Mine. Each of these

creeks featured an improvised mix
of bedrock and gravel, bank and bar,
riffle, pool, fall, foam, and whirl. Each
had systems of life--bird, bug, moss,
brush, fern, trout, worm. Sometimes
a deer: touching the glassy top of water
with a glossy black nose. Sometimes

something demanded
your respect--for example, a bear
making a splash of things and broadcasting
its bear-body, bashing brush, looking
at the creek as if the creek might be
swallowed in a gulp. A few times there

was I, absolutely incidental to the watershed,
hiking through holy sunlit days, flicking a fly
out on a leader, watching for fish, breathing
in shadows of ancient cedars, listening
to creek-water as it dropped into this
pool, space and time.

Hans Ostrom Copyright 2008
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