Poetry: Rhythm and Reflection in the North Cascades

Fingers of smoke from wildfires
reach down Big Beaver and Pierce Creek valleys
and cover the deep blue of Ross Lake
like a quilt.

The drift mingles with other smokestreams
from Ruby and Thunder creeks,
where mountains, too,
have been touched by the sky.
Smoke clouds curl around Sourdough Mountain,
where I sit in the clear blue center
of this gesture: mudra
of the mountain Buddhas.
Waft of incense from a world renewed,
forests / meadows
rained into soil.
The teachings come round again.
Tim McNulty, from Through High Still Air: A Season at Sourdough Mountain
The cries of migrating swans
stitch the clouds together,
white on white.

Rain yesterday,
sun this afternoon,
cold trees shedding leaves.
In the brown reeds
a red-winged blackbird
remembers his summer song.
Each stroke of my paddle
brings me closer
to those I love.
— Saul Weisberg, from Headwaters: Poems & Field Notes
Join Institute founder and executive director Saul Weisberg and poet & essayist Tim McNulty September 25-27 for a fall weekend in the North Cascades exploring poetry and the outdoors; registration includes instruction, organic meals and overnight accommodations on Diablo Lake. Details at http://ncascades.org/sign…/programs/poetry-with-tim-and-saul and (360) 854-2599.

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