More Frightening Than Nature

I am lost in the woods.
There is no where to run.
Every where I turn there is a giant bear.
He wants to kill.
He wants me dead.
I try running.
I try hiding.
I try fighting.
Still he follows me.
His eyes large and red with rage.
Mouth open wide
Dripping drool
Past the sparkling white teeth.
My car is to small and weak to protect me
From this monstrous hungry giant.
I empty a whole clip from my glock
Right into his face
One landing in his right eye
But still he pursues me.
I load the second clip.
It misfires
I see only sparks
Fighting with the gun is futile
As the bear comes closer
Sensing my fear.
I climb to the top of my car
And into a tall tree
I cling there to the branches
Hot tears pouring down my face
My eyes large and watching
As the bear reaches the base of the tree
He stares up at me
There is laughter in his eyes
Why is this creature amused at my fear of him
I hear laughter coming from the trees

It is as if my mind knows the dream is ending
and it wishes to have the last laugh at me

As I cling helplessly to the tree
Tears streaming down my face
Out from the trees come the camera men
The makeup artists, the director, the producer
They are all laughing and celebrating
Someone helps the bear from his fur suit
The man in the bear suit looks up at me
Laughter and delight fill his eyes
He has frightened me
He has made me believe in him
And he is amused with me
Realization sets in
My grip lessens from the tree
But I am not getting down
What kind of person finds this terror and fear amusing
These humans are more frightening then the bear


A Knitters Night before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around me was unfinished knitting not under the tree.The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care ’cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, but I had not finished the caps for their heads. Dad was asleep; he was no help at all, and the sweater for him was six inches too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I put down my needles to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tripped over my yarn and fell with a crash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow reminded me how much I still had to go. Out on my lawn, I heard such a noise, I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.

And although I was tired, my brain a bit thick, I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick!What I heard then left me somewhat perplexed-ed, for not a name I heard was what I expected.

“Move Ashford; move Lopi; move Addie & Clover; move Reynolds; move Starmore; and Noro – move over!” “Paton, don’t circle round, stay in the line. Come now, you sheep, you’ll work out just fine! I know this is hard being just your first year, I’d hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer.”

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing, eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a’grazing. And then, in a twinkle, I heard at my door Santa’s coming across the porch floor.

I rose from my knees and got back on my feet, and as I turned round, Saint Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toes and his cloths were hand knit from above to below.

A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back, and his toys were all stuffed in a aran knit sack. His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace, a beautiful frame for his rosy red face.

The scarf round his neck could have stretched for a mile, and the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle. The backs of his mittens bore an intricate cable, and suddenly on one I spied a small label.

SC was the duplicate stitch on the cuff, and I asked “Hay Nick, did you knit all this stuff?” He proudly replied “Ho-ho-ho, yes I did. I learned how to knit when I was a kid.”

He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man, and I laughed to myself for I’d thought of a plan. I flashed him a grin and jumped in the air, the next thing he knew he was tied to a chair.

He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap where I’d laid my needles and yarn for a cap. He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two; for the first time I thought I might really get through.

He put heels on the stockings and toes on some socks while I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks!!

So quickly, like magic his needles they flew, that he was all finished by quarter to two. He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free, and over his shoulder he looked back at me.

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon “Next year start your knitting sometime around June!”

– Author Unknown


I can feel my heart beating
I can feel my body rock back and forth
As the powerful muscle is pumping blood forcefully through my veins
I feel the warm liquid move through my body and the room starts to spin
I feel the anxiety of the fear in the ability to lose control of my surrounding
I feel my muscles tightening as they fight for control for movement
I feel my muscles relaxing
I feel that I no longer have control over anything and I don’t care
I feel my mind detach from my body
I feel free to think
I feel nothing but my thoughts
Still there is pain even though there is no body
There is pain in memories and
There is pain in sympathy and disappointment in humanities many errors

Sunset on the Columbia River (photos by Me)

The birds are singing their sweet evening songs, as the sun lowers in the sky, turning the clouds golden yellow. Sparrows sail slowly and gracefully over my head. As the river laps at the shore and little fish bob to the surface for an evening snack of water bugs. This has always been my favorite time of day. It must be the sounds and the bright colors. I’m surrounded only by birds song and the wind rustling through the leaves. The sky is bursting into every color of the rainbow, ever changing. It’s a different color every time I glance up to look at it. The clouds seem to be moving towards the sun as if attracted to it, like a moth to the flame. The wind picks up and a breeze smelling like the ocean rushes in up the river. I’m reminded of a passage in John Muir’s “A Wind-Storm in the Forests.”
The winds go up every tree, fingering every leaf and branch and furrowed bole; not one is forgotten; the Mountain Pine towering with outstretched arms on the rugged buttresses of the icy peaks, the lowliest and most retiring tenant of the dells; they seek and find them all, caressing them tenderly, bending them in lusty exercise, stimulating their growth, plucking off a leaf or limb as required, or removing an entire tree or grove, now whispering and cooing through the branches like a sleepy child, now roar like the ocean; the winds blessing the forests, the forests the winds, with ineffable beauty and harmony as the sure result”.

I’ve seen many things in this river; seals, cranes, geese, ducks, sail boats and large ships carrying logs or filled with grains. I understand now how Crevecoeur saw nature never “without wonder.” I feel that way now too, my favorite thing though would be the colors that swirl in the rivers ripples and peaks as the sun is setting. The clouds above turn baby pink and the river below mimics it. Giving the river the appearance of pink icing on a cake. I wish I could describe this view as well as Crevecoeur could describe nature around him. The line I remember best is when he said that, “nature has profusely lavished her most splendid colours, the most perfect azure, the most beautiful gold, the most dazzling red are forever contrast and help to embellish the plumes.” I wish I could see things through his eyes and know what colours he saw at that moment.
The river is very calm right now, the tide must be going out. I can tell because the fishing boats at the dock are pulling taut on their front ropes while the rear ties lay with slack. The boats rock softly in the gentle flowing currant as the clouds above explode in a hot pink cotton candy fluff. A bald eagle flies up river, then up towards the tops of the trees returning home after a long day of hunting and sailing. It’s amazing how soothing and peaceful a sunset set to the soundtrack of a dozen different birds singing a song that no one, but I, will ever hear. I sit silently, startled by the honking of a crane as he flies upriver, just inches above the water. He’s landed somewhere just a few yards from me behind some bushes but I cant see him for now. He’s probably laying in wait for the finches to stop arguing in the tree above his nest before he ambles on home. Who knows what finches argue about. He’s given up on going home and flies further up river. So low and so close to me I can see his eyes. I wish had taken a picture but he flew so gracefully by I couldn’t take my eyes off him and his majestic blue, gray feathers.

There’s a cat wondering down the shore, moving closer and closer to the river. He pauses ever few steps to listen to the finches and sparrows. He settles himself below the tree of arguing finches, his body silhouetted by the setting sun. I’m curious what the finches are arguing about. I know I’m being completely anthropomorphic in stating this, but it doesn’t sound like a pleasant conversation. They are speaking louder and faster, not allowing the other to get a sound in. They seem to be talking over each other. The only breaks in the yelling is when one flies down from the tree as if falling, pulling up from his nose dive only at the very last minute. The little finch flies across the river, then down the river only to return to the same tree to argue again. This time with quicker peeps and more forcefully squawks. I think maybe he flies away from the tree to clear his head so he can think of a better comeback. He leaves the tree again screeching this time. I wonder why till I notice that she is chasing him. They return to the tree only to squawk at each other some more. Maybe she feels he isn’t bringing home enough worms for the baby chicks.
When I sat down, out here by the river, I felt silly and wondered if someone might walk up behind me. Perhaps they would wonder what I am doing way out here all on my own but the gentle lapping of the river on the shore and the setting sun have relaxed me. I feel quite comfortable, nestled in the sand among the bushes. The sun is almost set and even the arguing birds have quieted down. The robins seem to have forgotten I’m here. Maybe because its getting dark now that the sun has set. I say they have forgotten because their flying quickly by me, so close I straighten up and brace myself for the coming impact. They take a sharp turn away from me just as I brace myself. Maybe it’s my movement that reminds them that I’m still here or perhaps they are just playing games with me.
The moon is getting brighter and the clouds are getting darker. The crane I was hoping to see again still has not returned, much to my dismay. I’ve always been drawn to him, since he’s such a quite bird with a seemingly private life. Though I’m sure my attraction to him in no way compares to Muir’s relationship with the water ouzel. While Muir’s water ouzel is always happily singing and frolicking about, my crane is lumbering slowing with silent movements. Perhaps the type of bird a person is drawn to says a lot about their personality. Much like an owner and their dogs.
The trees are now black and the clouds look like lumpy blue cotton balls. All collecting around the hole in the sky where the sun disappeared into. There is a halo of light encircling the moon, like a keyhole into another dimension. The water is clear now and sparkles like diamonds, reflecting the bright moon, like a traffic light on a puddle. There is an eerie silence now that all the birds have settled in for the night. Even the river is creeping silently. It’s getting late, the bugs are nibbling at my neck and my fingers are getting cold. I should probably head home now but want to see that crane again. Maybe another time. I will definitely return to this special spot again just to wait for him to appear, because I know he will return. I just have to be patient and wait. Like Emerson said, “Nature ever flows, stands never still.”

Norton Book of Nature Writing: