"Elegy to Cold Springs Canyon "

from Volume 5: Wild Mercury


by Gudrun Bortman 

First hike after the January 9th 2018 debris flow 

Where sweet bays, sycamores and alders
braided —

where water purled over the lip 
of boulders into leaf-speckled pools, calling 
frogs and newts and us—

there is a wound blasted into the mountain. 
The creek’s canyon scoured side to side.

Hard silence.

We scramble down-creek, mere specks 
in this vast bed of rocks, this moment—

but there, in fire-blackened scree


unfurl spring-green leaves. A wisp of moth,
its turquoise wings like vapor, trembles on stone
and from above out of an un-burned oak
a canyon wren’s sweet spiral trill 

                                  shifts the day.

Gudrun has another poem, "Die Elbe," in Volume 5, available for purchase in our bookstore.

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