old hiking partners by Bill Fay

oh shaman of the meadows
seer of the bear-grass
to light and dark the craggy crevasse
wizard of the wild-weary smile

beaming the macrocosm of the mushroom
the microcosm of the mountain
the quiet of the forming dew
after the deer go to dream
the opening of the glacier lily
the closing of the tent flap
the hissing of the camp stove
calling for the coffee
the border-line delirium of unnamed creeks
in crayon-colored canyons

glissading the golden glaciers of late afternoon
the ice-ax shining the “T” of tomorrow
shaping the snowfield with memories
down below bedspreads of lupin and paintbrush
above mauven-woven and steamed-green lichen
huddle beneath gnarled tree-fingers shaped by God’s sighing

where did the trail go
that converted so many christians to pagans?
finding scripture in brooks
prayer in scree-fields rocking underfoot
all written on the parchment of the douglas

when did the switch-backs end
in that forgotten moraine?
those melting ice caves
that curved an horizon
bluer than inside the sky of the mountain
and consumed the glacier forever
one bite of snow at a time



Bill Fay, retired engineer and published poet holds degrees in Fine Arts, Electrical Engineering, and Business Administration. He has had work published by the Virginia V Foundation, Creative Colloquy, Puget Sound Poetry, and the Haiku Society of America, among others. Bill resides with his wife Nancy and their two cats, Tucker and Annie, on Fox Island in Puget Sound near Tacoma.