In The Elkhorn

Last year I went on an Ordeal campout by the Elkhorn creek in the Rockies.  While laying wide awake in the middle of the light, my thoughts drifted along the lines of what I finally expressed in this poem.  Because I have yet to find a way to format poetry, I am using an * to indicate stanza breaks.

In The Elkhorn

Beneath the ancient moon and stars

lie cold upon this mountain lea.

Chill, the mountain’s breath

flows by to penetrate

your layered clothes, your flannel

sheet, your sleeping bag, and your

woven tarp enwrapping you.


To the mountainside you are

the meteor that flashed above

bright Rigel’s eye.  In Deneb’s mind

you are an insignificance

too scant for metaphor.


Lie cold and know

how small you are against the stars,

how brief you are against this ancient rock,

how glorious is the gift wrapped in flesh

that feels the chill,

that sees the moon-cast light,

that knows how brief

the number of your days.


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