Shy bear lookout

The forest has grown in now, this time
in spring the green darkens and I am
inside a giant’s beard hacking
my way through
fronds and fallen limbs, unsure
where I’m going or why, just
that I need to be here looking
in the dark, my feet must be
a part of it.

The earth moves through time
and space not caring where
or why, just knowing it
must.

And while here
I am propelled along
its back largely unnoticed,
though I know there is
someone watching in the
forest I can hear
in the small sounds that
sometimes peep and
cry out to one another —

With birdsong constellations
and perfume dripping from
trees, the frothy fronds
and withered hands,
the roots become knuckles,
mottled veins lead the way —

The hanging-on snail’s eyes
globes spinning on stalks,
feeling its way in inches
and yards, sometimes
stepped on, snapped
back into shape —

In the constant forward
motion we press on,
sometimes falling,
sometimes dropping,
stopping, going the
wrong way — but as
the prism spins it
slows and lands on
a side you can
see through.

I arrive at the lookout,
100 years ago they
mined coal here, and it
reads:

FORD SLOPE

1740 FT INCLINE TO 200 FT
BELOW SEA LEVEL
ELECTRIC LOCOMOTIVES
WORKED UNDERGROUND

The sign says stay out
but I get as close as I can
to see in.

I take no pictures,

I have lost track
of all time
and myself.

There is nothing to see
from the lookout
but I am still glad
I came.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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13 Responses to Shy bear lookout

  1. Dina Honour says:

    There is nothing to see
    from the lookout
    but I am still glad
    I came.
    Lovely, not just as an ending for the poem itself, but just a piece of advice for life.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Cheers Dina. Thanks for sharing your thoughts (I’m still thinking about herring and it’s making me hungry now).

      Like

  2. walt walker says:

    I am no poet, but I know one when I see one. Your prose has a poetry to it, too.

    Like

  3. ksbeth says:

    love the poem – it’s the journey..

    Like

  4. Is this in the Cascades, or just in your head?

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      It’s off the 900 exchange that backs up into Issaquah, up Cougar Mountain. About 15 minutes from my house, and planning to go back there today. Lots of really nice, interconnected trails, no bikes, some horses and trail runners, very well marked and kind of easy to lose yourself out there, feels good. Good for dogs too.

      Like

  5. byebyebeer says:

    Gorgeous. Especially like the part about root knuckles and mottled veins. (And pictures never capture the magic of places like that, at least not for me.) Sounds like a cool spot.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Hi Kristen – thank you. Yes, I’ve fallen in love with the word mottled. I think I had many things mottled in my notes — I’m glad you liked it too, thanks. I don’t use my camera much because it’s often a disappointment later, better in my imagination. Thanks for indulging mine! Loved your post on George, want to see more of that! – Bill

      Like

  6. Pingback: Early autumn mixer | William Pearse | pinklightsabre

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