Tag Archives: Dry Creek

RIBBON OF ROAD

 

RIBBON OF ROAD

 

                     Not the least hurt by this ribbon of road carved on their sea-foot.

                                          – Robinson Jeffers (“The Coast-Road”)

 

Fridays bring the caravans of Christians,

SUVs freeway-spaced and paced at sixty

up this snaky road to the pines and cedars

                                                                                    to pray

 

and low-snow weekends, the growl of mud grips

on decomposing asphalt, armies of colored jeeps

and shiny four-wheel drives drone up-canyon

                                                                                    to play

 

do not see these hills leaking with pleasure,

every wrinkle running with crystal streams

of rain, three weeks of storms rushing to

 

a rising, chocolate creek with foam, nor

the naked sycamores, leaves undressed,

white limbs dancing, rosy fingers reaching

 

for steamy clouds afloat upon the green

oak-studded slopes, black dots of cattle

scattered with all the legends gone before me.

 

JUST TO BEHOLD

 

 

Two coyotes lope across the road in the rain

in their retreat from the swollen creek, roaring

like prolonged thunder distantly—unafraid

 

for they are fat on rodents curled in flooded

burrows, tailings fresh.  The herons and egrets

will appear with the sun, stand guard like statues

 

in garden nurseries look alive.  Too wet to fly,

the sheltered hawks in the limbs of leafless trees

will spread their wings until their feathers dry.

 

And we too wait.  Some days it’s too wet—

too hot, too cold, or too dry to work—but once

in a while it makes more sense just to behold.

 

 

Dry Creek, January 9, 2023

3,500+ cfs @ 5:00 p.m.

 

Atmospheric creek,

miles of canyons into one,

now headed somewhere.

 

 

 

THE BUENA VISTA

 

 

Rising from the saddle

beneath Sulphur,

a full wolf moon views

 

            first break in the rain

            for over a week

            as if to assess

            a rare miracle:

 

            green slopes leaking

            rivulets spilling

            into draws into creeks

            foamed like Irish coffee.

 

We are drunk with it

wanting more, another

warm sweet storm

 

            to validate

            a lifetime—this

            wild existence:

 

            grass and rain,

            cows to graze

            our blurred exposure.

 

 

NATURE IN CHARGE

 

 

After a decade, we gave-up prayer,

swallowed our appeals to pagan gods

and goddesses that might be listening—

 

we forgot the feel of tall green feed

wet upon our knees, resigned ourselves

to do without—to adapt to drought.

 

Wettest December in a century,

but for the floods of ’55 and ’66,

I don’t regret what I wished for.

 

 

AR

 

 

Thanks to science,

we’re learning new lingo

to rhyme with reason—

plus head-scratching acronyms

to break meter and thought.

 

Six straight days wet

and a good chance

for a dozen more

floating along

this atmospheric river.

 

________________________________

 

Flowing 962 cfs @ 8:00 a.m. at the brush catchers, Dry Creek peaked at 1,400 cfs @ 3:00 a.m., Badger having received 3.81″ upstream in the last 24 hrs. 1.61″ for us.   

 

 

COVER OF COLOR

 

 

Gray canyon rain,

café au lait rivulets

overfill vernal pools

 

spreading to the creek

just begun to run

at the end of December.

 

She stayed overnight

and all day, lingering

to leave us extra rain,

 

as if we were old lovers

trying to give the past

a second chance—

 

she offers nourishment

to thirsty earth, bare slopes

a cover of color come spring:

 

a team of sunlit Wood Ducks

at the edges of water pooled

grazing with horses. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRY CREEK ROAD 1946

Oil by Myrtle Sue Redford

 

Dirt track before asphalt,

ruts in mud, December sycamores

after a rain waiting to undress,

 

like always—it feels the same

to escape upcanyon in your painting,

leaving main roads behind

 

before it was engineered

for 18 wheels to haul gravel—

town politics behind us.

 

Before the flood of ’55,

Terminus Dam in ’61,

much has changed

 

except for the feeling you’ve captured

of peaceful adventure

at every beginning of our road home.

 

                      for Myrtle Sue Redford

 

 

CHEER

 

 

Nothing near, the long-term forecast

changes on the hour as we look out

over Christmas color, out of storage early,

 

at independent calves at water,

and our persistent green still breathing

with each dawn’s dew. Almost everything

 

we need is near-at-hand before Thanksgiving

with a welcome splash of cheer

as we wait for rain, like always.

 

 

WINTER FIRES

 

 

Color comes with cold and wet

within the canyon, even before

the creek flows or sycamores burn

 

leather brown to shed their clothes—

white bodies tangled in a pagan dance

to gods unknown.  Orioles return

 

as sparks in the brush, levity

in the pink overcast of dawn.

We glean the fallen skeletons

 

of oak and brittle manzanita

to fill the woodstove. Curious cattle

come to wonder what we’re about.