October Morning at Ice Lake, Eagle Cap Wilderness [ click photo for next . . . ]
On the road in the American Northwest.


The Earth supplies enough for all our wants
and needs, but not for all our wars and waste.


Beauty fades,
the old decays,
the rock-face remains unmoved.

How I hold onto the waning moon
while the immensity of young summer rises.

The dark world of roots remains a mystery to me;
I have no stash like a pocket gopher buried
beneath ten feet of winter snow. What do I know
of the water that flows beneath the well?
Or the source of but a single thought?

Walking to the side of a busy road, I see
a lost leather glove driven flat and dirty,
the abandoned body of some spiritual something
already reborn someplace else?

That is what they say:
Beauty fades,
the old decays,
the rock-face remains unmoved,

O mood of morning moon now lost to my solstice star.


The sound of the night waves of an alpine lake washes
against the dark detritus of my mind,
smoothing all the rough surfaces,
soothing all the sharp fractures cut by desire and loss,
polishing them into something more like
the hard, finely-grained granite
that glaciers leave behind.


When you first enter the backcountry, a mountain is a mountain,
a lake a lake, and a tree a tree. But then something may happen,
perhaps after crossing a pass, or climbing an especially difficult
ridge or peak. Suddenly, a mountain is no longer a mountain, a
lake no longer a lake, and a tree no longer a tree. What we might
call home—being rooted in a world of culture which is itself rooted
and inseparable from the natural world in which it rests—is the
center where we bring the circle round. Then, the mountain is
once again a mountain, a lake once again a lake, and a tree once
again a tree. Beautiful is the circle.

Wallowa Lake


Featured gallery, mountain water . . . .
Please visit my MOUNTAIN WATER Gallery—some of
the best of my flowform photography w/ a selection of the highest quality
prints & frames . . . [ mouse over for
controls / lower right fro full-screen ]

Little Eagle
Little Eagle . . .
Mountain Phlox Little Eagle,
after strom . . .

All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 1999-2014 picture-poems.com
(created: XI.1.2010)