Anam Cara

Anam Cara

1600 1066 Kevin Peterson

Far into the mountain wilderness
Days within the ancient woods
Miles from the end of paved roads
Following the meandering path left by others
Earlier travelers, long gone, unknown
Except the little line marked through the flagstone,
Along the river, through the meadow,
To the edge of moss banked lakes

Cool breezes dash through the scrubby pine
Leaving us as quickly as they arrived
Looking for a place to settle, to call home
Here the cut-throats sit and wait
Efforts and motions planned/reserved/calculated
Simple Lore-Monsters hidden from view
Older and larger than the extremes would suggest
Beings, just being

We stand at the edge of the bottomless lake
Filled with frigid waters that shrink our manhood
Here we ply our cunning, casting all we have
To the giants in the blue lagoon
Desperate to tease them with our modern wares
Purchased with monies earned running an old race
Time sold for discount trinkets and plastic beads
To see if they will rise, strike, then sizzle in our pan

Night falls quickly behind the next stony ridge
Powdered soup, crackers and some jerked beef
Leviathan and kin poke the icy depths, crunching larvae- unmolested
A misty fog rolls between stunted-twisted trees
We sit around the small flames of burning branches and deadfall
Staring, brooding, shoving big sticks at the little coals
Merged into one- Mist, Fire, Darkness, Tree, Rock, Trail, Men
Silence everywhere but for the howling Scavengers

Just out of site they yelp and wail, calling, desiring
Quickly they thunder towards our circle
Just before breaking into the light they turn to either side
Surrounding from every direction, then off into the night
The yearning calls, whimpers, and howls continue
Long into the ether of the dreams of men…
High above us a singular voice breaks the air
The deeper, dreader, mature call of the Wolf

Nearly exposed for the small creatures they truly are
Muzzled in humility before their King
Over the hard dark hills of Tomorrow’s climb
Out beyond field glass, in holes beneath granite boulders they hide
The Scavengers return to the unknowable, unsearchable past
Field mouse beware, brown hare quiver and ptarmigan shake they come for you,
Without malice or forethought, synapses snap, jaws close on softer flesh, merge to one
Beings, just being

Near the middle hour of stoking the burning bush
One reveals and offers sweet brown bread, Cuban, hand rolled
Other brings forth the expressed blood of Italian vines
Together, communion, they inhale the rich incense from burning censors
Cleansing the tongue as the ember approaches their lips, lung-filled peace
Washing their minds submersing their hearts with Freedom’s cup
One speaks of his fear of approaching death, entering the eternal night
Other reveals offenses endured, opportunities missed, trails lost

Long into the cold dark night they take in the host and blood
Drink deep draughts of the rich, inky darkness of soul
Inhale fully on each draw from the burning bitter herbs
Chiseled Saltwater stained mountain facades glowing
Steel rubbing against steel against flint and obsidian cliffs
Before the warm friendship fire far from beginnings or ends
A wolf comes and sits at Light’s edge, watching, waiting
Beings just being

 

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Kevin Peterson

Kevin Peterson is a former high school dropout and jail cook who now lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife of over 30 years. He is a skilled poet and graphic illustrator.

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