Rocky Mountain Danku

For two days as we came across the Rockies, whenever I took my notebook out of my pocket to write something down, it came out in three line form. Where they came from I don’t know, it’s just something that happened. Everybody knows that classical Japanese haikus are 17 syllables long arranged in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. My verses rarely fit this formula, but then nobody ever said that I was a classical Japanese poet. However two of my regular readers have told me that they wish I’d try my hand at more poetry. Since two readers is a very high percentage of my total and I’m also still laid up with my injured knee I decided to share my Rocky Mountain Danku with you this week. The good news is that my knee is steadily improving, it looks like I’ve avoided surgery, and I hope to be back on the streets in a couple of weeks. Certainly I’ll be dancing again before football season.


Blue mountains in the distance

Further away than they look

A long drive ahead


Utah sun is the brightest

Hoodoos march in the morning

But they can’t get away


Abandoned pickup truck

On the bank of the dry riverbed

The world passes by


The coyote, the trickster

Ancient people turned into hoodoos

Escaped to the desert, almost


Baby antelopes

Running, bouncing up and down

Under mama’s watchful eye


Buttes and mesas, flattops

What lives up there

Where lightning strikes


The Sevier River’s east fork

Now has water in it

Flow river flow


No passing zone mile 38 blues

Stuck behind a trailer

What, me hurry?


Hell’s Backbone, snow on the ground

Elk watch for prairie dogs

Vail Summit 10,600


A snake road on top of mesa

Cliffs drop on both sides

My heart’s racing


Ears pop

Road levels alongside a pasture

Belted galloways and horses graze


Budding aspens with hearts

Thriving on the thin air

The world at their feet


There’s been fire on the mountain

Black aspen logs on the ground

Like pick up sticks


Utah desert

Baseball on the radio

Braves score, Braves score, Braves score


Storm in the mountains

We’re in the clouds

The bugs are gone from the windshield


Curves and a thunderstorm

A long unlit mountain tunnel

I freak out


A blue heron

Wading in the shallow water

No more roadwork


Vail, chalets, condos

Log houses and ski slopes

Where do the workers live?


Healthy fir and aspen, dead pines

Pine beatles have to eat too

It’s natures way


Yellow cropduster

Ten feet off the ground

Stay on your side of the road


A five legged cow

A Russian boar, a prairie dog town

Kansas tourist trap


Rock chalk Jayhawks

Belted galloways eating lunch

Eisenhower’s farewell address


I might point out that the belted Galloway is a breed of cow and hoodoos are the formations that Native American legend says were formed when the coyote turned the ancient people into rock.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.