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The sun's warmth stays in my skin
long after sundown.
The hiss, rumble and click of submerged river stones
troubled by the current
flows below the Ospreys call.
The pale blue sky at ridge's overlooking treeline
just after sunset
that fades to black overhead
and transforms blistering day into cooling night.
The water carved
basement basalt hugs turbulent river's edge
mixing water with air and swirls my path
through Mule Creek canyon.
swim downriver with us
then retreat magically to form
a mama bear and cub
swimming across the river
for better berries
on the sunny side.
An osprey stops for lunch
across the river from us -
she eats sushi, we don't.
With her back turned toward us
she pulls the morsels from the bones.
with the buzzards and the crows
for what will be left behind.
Too hot for my own skin,
I leap into the cool boiling cauldron
and float downstream
while one current tugs my arms
and another at my feet.
The water stacks up and flows around
everything in its path.
It carves the right path,
And it only gathers a few items
to move downstream today.
The river's gorge is deep and hidden,
but well tree'd and dripping with side streams.
Oak canopy shading the forest mysteries
and dark quiet pools.
I stroke hard for the eddy and climb ashore
released from the water
Hot rounded stones at water's edge warm and welcoming,
but ready to release us with no more than a slight tug.
We travel down at the pleasure of the stream
where the current slows.
The small tribe gathers at the edge of the forest,
a harmonica wails and pails tapped rhythmically drum in the
preparation of another tasty meal
and we sit in a circle - all facing one another
and bring melodic memories up from the deep eddies of our minds
and laughter bubbles like the water overflowing the fencing boulders at Blossom Rock
All the rest and more remains waiting for us there
but we roll up our tents for now and retreat back over
the protective mountains and the canyon's rim
at the far, far end of a long highway.