Poem – Where Chaos is Held at Bay

Moments the chaos is held at bay
when the pine filled sky sways
and the ravens visit
and the earth releases pungency.

Each weeks struggle to fit in
to complete what is expected
to fulfil obligations
takes its toll on the mind, the body,

further distancing my connection
to the forest and each animal,
a balance of give and take
that exudes beauty.

Even simple tasks like raking,
clearing brush and watching
the dogs run free with smiles
is all it takes to survive another week.

Looking for Peace

An early morning walk through a November-drenched park with Leroy, Alaskan coffee, and music. As the wind blew hard off the lake, yet the pace was slow and purposeful, I chose “Lost in the Chambers of the Sea”, by Startle the Heavens (Ben Leopard).

Starting off brisk and cloudy, we watched thousands of ducks float upon the water and eat. Hiking through the trees and along another lake, we left the city behind and let nature cradle our spirits and heal our minds. Looking for peace, we found the rising light and a path through the forest.

Path Through the Trees

Path Through the Trees

Retreat – Challenges and Setbacks

An update on the wildlife retreat we have been working on the past 2-years.  The first phase is done and we will take the winter off and enjoy the trees and bird songs.  Phase two, which will be prairie grass restoration, starts in the spring of next year.  Along with the joy of the various animals, birds, trees, sights, and sounds, we have had to deal with the darker side of humanity.  Twice, during hunting season, we have had remains of dear left in various states on the retreat.  The first time it happened was with snow covering the ground and most of the remains were hidden and not much we could do.  This past weekend was a different story.  It has been warm for MN this time of year and we have no snow.  While I will not go into detail, the site was pretty gruesome.  Even the county sheriff and DNR representative I am working with were bothered by the situation.

Where we are there are plenty of predators, including coyote, of which we know there are two packs roaming around in the dark hours.  Something we have to be aware of and careful with is our dog.  Now there is additional food for them, that will bring them closer to our space.  According to the people I have talked with, since this on private property, our only option is to bury or burn the remains.  We will be opting for the burn, and as such, will do this as respectfully as we can.  I will be writing a poem about the experience and the results of what we will look at as a sacrifice and bring into this symbols of the elements.

Out of touch a bit

Since getting back from Alaska, I have been out of touch with this blog, friends blogs, and generally anything outside of a close sphere of personal projects and work.  And writing anything has been a challenge.  It seems my mind has become a blank slate, and the pieces I was working on, are drifting elsewhere.

One thing we have been working on quite a bit is Stone Path Review.  From a business perspective, it is published by our non-profit, 418 Publishing, Inc.  We are constantly looking for new artists, established artists, other literary and artistic journals to collaborate with.  And now, we are in the process of publishing our first book, a chapbook of poetry.  This fits in perfectly with our vision and dedication to the arts, and the artistic community.

Another side project that has consumed much time the past month is a wildlife retreat that we are building, and coming along nicely.  The physical aspects should be complete within a month, and then we can start trail building and prairie grass restoration.  The more time I spend at the retreat, the more I write, so I am eagerly awaiting more quality time with nature.  I feel like I have gotten a bit lost lately, perhaps disconnected.

Alaska, Day 5

The day started with breakfast at the Cookie Jar.  Amped up with enough coffee, we spent the rest of the day moose hunting along the Chena Hot Springs road, starting near Fairbanks and winding its way east for 55 or so miles.  Along the way, we hiked a couple of trails, one to the top of Chena dome.  We did manage to see and photograph 4 moose today.  Overall, we have seen 10 to 12 moose on what has been an excellent trip.  Plans are already in the works for a trip to Haines.

I will post more photos when back home.

Thank you to everyone for visiting, your comments, and likes.  Much appreciated.



Alaska, Day 4 – Wildlife

We have been fortunate regarding the weather and wild life here in Alaska.  Quite honestly, this has been the best trip I have taken here.  We made it to Denali National Park yesterday and had an awesome hike along and above the Tenana River.

Moose and marmots are not shy creatures, and do not care you are taking photos, as long as you are not in their personal space, which for a moose is rather large (preferable across a wide river or from a vehicle).

Moose looking for lunch
Marmot looking for lunch
Small glacier along the Tenana River, within Denali National Park
Photo of the photographer taking a photo of a moose, while I wait for lunch
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