This month’s Poem-of-the-Month at CrowVoice.com is a new, unpublished piece called “Elegy.”
The cabin where I live (the “Grizfork Studio”) is on the east side of the Yellowstone River in an area of Montana called Paradise Valley. In many ways, it’s a fitting name. My “backyard” is the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness, and I’ve decided to focus on a small section: the treeline along the south fork of Deep Creek directly behind the property I’m living on. I hike there often, and try to get to know it as I would a friend or lover. To connect. Understand. Be amazed by. Love. To get there, I pass through a rising pasture that’s divided into four fields by old ranch fences.
The first section I’ve named Spirit Owl Field, in honor of the experience discussed in this month’s poem. Since first finding the owl, I’ve stopped by several times on my way to the treeline and mountains, usually bringing tobacco. It’s good to see him returning to the earth as everything does. As we all do. Actually, it’s not a matter of returning to the earth: we’ve never left. In fact, there is no we to do the leaving; is there?
Earth places Earth on Earth, watching Earth become Earth. This is a good thing to remember.