Sparkling waters speaking, a language their own
Bursting bubbles everywhere
Hearing sounds, not understanding words
Intertwining in meaning
Deepening redwoods, mossying alders
Graying jay, downying woodpecker
Spawning salmon, flowing water
Elk River, a winter day.
Autumnal river flows
Slow and shallow, breathing
Golden light radiates.
Alder, willow, maple and cottonwood
Emerge out of its banks, skyward
Roots dipping downward, drinking.
We dip our tender feet in
Tentatively, tantalizingly, invigoratingly
Cold long known to salmon and steelhead.
Solar warmth radiates everywhere
From rock, tree and sky
Soon overtaken by cool, upriver wind.
Beginningless wind, always flowing
Deep in the Pacific a storm forming
Does the river know?
Nourishing rains carried on the wind
Dark storm clouds form and reform
Bringing salmon in their embrace.
We walk the riverbank, warm and cool
Lost in reverie, autumn river reverie.