Bruce Colbert – River Rain; Burnt Forest

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River Rain

Through dark night

of prehistoric sameness,

rain falls unabated

with staccato bursts, and this

white-capped McKenzie roils,

without its mountain past,

few regrets for these

logs, fallen not cut,

covens of their own making,


drifting downstream

to the lazier

Willamette, and inevitable

meander to the sea,

maybe to Japan,

from these last

first-growth forests,

primeval, unseen,

moccasin trod once,

dense and massive,

one hundred and fifty feet,

each tree, shallow roots,

elk, bear and beaver sheltered

within the lichen, moss, and mist.

Gossamer webs

spun in silence,

and with the

spring sunlight

a wildflower





Burnt Forest

A highway winds into these bleak mountain miles,

this forest charred, unrecognizable, deserted,

trees blackened, maudlin, cadaverous,

its ground ashen, battlefield barren; and

they weep, these forlorn ones

from this eternal crypt

of dust and pestilence,

a force far greater

though not

to rise, and

Lazarus calls out to

fox, deer and hawks,

loyal sentinels who saw this

Hades, and bathed in the river Styx.


Bruce Colbert

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