You never know where or when inspiration will strike but when it strikes ...it's just there. I'm sure you can tell when the photographer in me is particularly inspired or when the writer in me is feeling verbose. Tonight, I am proud to share with you a poem written by Stuart Braune, inspired by The Kolden Report. Enjoy!
The Mountain Can Kill You
(or send its ambassador, the bear, to do the job)
You know the mountain can kill you
The animals know this and live on the edge
Senses wide open facing a frigid wind.
In the bitter blowing winter we say
“This god forsaken place” - yes
The god of comfort forsakes you
The god of security forsakes you
The god of your fabulous plans for that self-involved dream life forsakes you
Your compass drops from your pocket
Birds scatter your supplies.
Ego climbs with frost-bitten fingers
Loses its grip and falls from a frozen cliff
In death blood-ice expands to crack open this tight little heart
It is said ”Become as a mountain”
Raw and exposed
In full view
Stone-cold (and majestically beautiful)
Open to the vast and unobstructed sky.-Stuart Braune
Reflections on my Dad: The meaning of “Montana Tough” - by Karyl Rauch
When you’re beat up by something as randomly indiscriminate
and impersonal as the weather
365 days a year…
you have to be tough,
mentally and physically, spiritually,
—literally-- to keep on going—
year after year –
too much snow,
not enough snow,
and fires whipped by 80 mph winds—
winds like dry hurricanes,
and mosquitoes that make
black fog where you irrigate,
carrying West Nile …
that costs a fortune to replace or fix,
and parts all having to be ordered,
everything you do yourself,
fixing, feeding, planting harvesting,
branding, driving, driving,
miles and miles and miles and then--
low prices for the products
you have extracted from the elements
despite their best efforts to knock you down..
But you keep coming back,
year after year after year,
feeding, calving, planting, harvesting,
fixing fences and old equipment,
being a good neighbor,
sharing, praying, going to church,
as if there were no other life,
as if none of it was hard,
as if all of it was pure joy…
As if just to be in Gods creation
just to see the sun rise once more
or the northern lights at nite another time
to watch baby pheasants cross the road,
and wildflowers spring from dry ground –
yellow harvest moon
sliding up off the horizon
smell of sage
were reward enough—
and it was
Dedicated to my Dad,Harold Rauch, and this great state we live in
Beauty dissolved in the dank and rank
Complexity hidden in the mush
A mess (we say from high horses).
Yet deeper is your rich mystery
Alive in process and evolution
Wise beyond your (billion) years
The wisdom of the ancients - with no thought.
We young upstarts,
New to this world and top heavy with intellect,
The mush of thinking floating/suffocating our clear depths…
How can we honor these venerable cousins?
Other artists are gathering inspiration from my photography. Paintings, sketches, poems and stories have been shared with me. I'd like to share some of them with you!
Pothole reflection (#3)
You are nothing Space A void Mist and oil
But when we meet I fill you completely
We are one
In that brief moment I can think of nothing but you.
- Pothole reflection (#4)
I am broken
Even Mother’s crystalline fairies Tear at my very skin
I am undone
The mad rushings of men* Bear down upon me
Do not curse me
See… You and I are the same Traveler and traveled
Where do we begin and end
* Note: The pothole reflection series of poems harken to a literary period where gender-inclusive language was not the norm.
Pothole reflection (#4, numerator b)
We are the same you and I
Do we not both carry the burden Of passing fortunes And mindless progress?
Does not our evolving Expand And yet Empty us?
Is not your heart broken too?
Yet on a clear day After a rain Our wounds reflect the passing clouds