Sitting On A Log Over Middle St. Vrain Creek


I sit on a long log over Middle St. Vrain Creek,

Watching sunlight colors on the backs of a pair of

Dippers downstream where the banks narrow.


Wild raspberry leaves fill the fresh tracks

Of black bear crisscrossing the underbrush.

In the rock shelves that jut out of steep

Granite walls, small pine trees look 

As they did hundreds of years ago.


A slow distant thunder drifts upstream.

The sky turns black & the sudden afternoon

Rains make me forget any wish to return home.


To paraphrase the poet Po Chu-i (722-846),

In every place soldiers are rushing to arms,

The learned are sequestered grading papers,

Young beauties whore themselves to media,

Congresses march to partisan battles.


Only we, who have no talents at all

Are left in the mountains to play

With the pebbles of the stream.



2 September 2001



[Published in Quien Sabe Mountain:

Poems 1998-2004. 2004 by Jim Cohn.]




Quien Sabe Mountain
(MAP Publications, 2004)