The Whisper

Of the high country 
hugs the watercourse 
of brooks, creeks 
and snowmelt river cutting
through  white granite---
becoming wind 
carried on water’s back, 
careening madly
toward the precipice  

The wind stirred by wild river

Is wind turned fierce rider
saddled, mounted until brink 
ejected into gasp of space

Suddenly the dervish---

Raking sheer cliffs,
churning the mighty cascade
as it dives deep  
into Yosemite Valley 

White water’s herd breaks
to separate, manes and tails 
streaming down a thousand feet 
before the double crash 
and thunder to rocky floor

That wind
hurled out from the landing

Is original wind 

Within evergreen groves
quieting, transforming back again

To breeze, whispering beginnings--- 
pure peaks snows and  waters 
That these two nostrils breathe 

-- Peter Hensel
Executive Disorder

Sweet reason rolls across the coastal hills:
each winding valley hosts a dairy farm,
pasture going green to gold, dotted with cows,
sheds, water tower, barn, live oaks as weathered
as a hundred years ago, the good bones
still strong, a land worn smooth with steady use
but not worn down or broken up in lots
that boast idyllic views until they’re gone.

Fast-moving cloud shadows darken the old hills,
involuntary shudders of spine and mind,
the wisdom of our better selves struck down-
sacred places where old ways earn their keep,
the open spaces where our future’s stored,
tossed aside without knowledge or wonder. 

-- Jeanetta Miller