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Creek Running North

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September 15, 2004

Near Tomales Point

These hills bear predators fluid and tawn
with shapes defined by our desires.
Their prey is mean.
It stamps holes in the soft earth, snorts.
Round up the children! The herd enfolds
and folds again upon itself,
safe in a knot of fur and hoof and horn.

And likewise fur and nail retreat to homes
beneath the tattered, browning iris.
The languid harrier's talon shall not clasp
and though the coyote dig and dig
this maze of runs is too complex.
Old pathways, not used in a dozen years
will open up, will beckon
that whiskered claws may scurry safe from harm.

And I.
And I see none of this.
The clouds are whipping past too furious.
The buckwheat pushes dry stems in my back.
Rocks scrape along the fault
a million years in transit
for a moment they rest, poking at my calf.
Wind off Kamchatka stirs my hair.
And I see none of this
held by irises compelling brown.

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decorative line of bighorn petroglyphs