Climb high enough

And you stand level with the heavens

The cloudline separating the messy

Business of living

From the clean dead blue

Of the upper atmosphere

IMG_1762Purity has its own price

Sometimes there is a usefulness in seeing the world from a different height or perspective, in understanding the point of separation.

For more contrasts and separations, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

An Unbound Sky

They mark the bodies sometimes

A weathered piece of wood or a ribbon

Wildly out of place in the dense undergrowth.

It’s not the snowfall, although sometimes it is the snow-

There are more deaths when the sky is clean and clear and unobscured.

No buffer then, no protection from the absolute cold,

From the unchained, uncaring horizon.

Yet we walk those paths,

Seek those days.

How to explain the pull of

That danger, that power?

How willingly we pay the cost of

Light on our face and hearts,

Of dizzy joy beneath an unbound sky?

IMG_0438Sometimes all that remains is a fierce and persistent joy

Some things can only be felt rather than explained.

For more power, unbound and bound, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.


A Momentary Peace

At the end of the long walk,

At the end of the cold night,

At the end of the silence,

At the end of the noise,

At the end of the road that wasn’t traveled,

At the end of the road that was,

There is a small place to wait

And breathe.

IMG_1303There is a peace in the looking back and the looking forwards

Understanding where we are brings a certain comfort to knowing where we are going.

For more paths, taken and not, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Imaginary Bears

It is impossible to walk through the forests now without meeting them, the imaginary bears.

We know that the real bears are starting to rise and move, shake off a winter’s worth of sluggishness and snow.

But somehow the real bears are never as tangible as the imaginary bears.

Real bears are confined by physics and space and time.

They are not able to be everywhere at once:

In the crack of weakened branches

In the pungent smell of rising skunk cabbage

In the faint shadow at the corner of the eye, reaching out from the tangle of alder

The signs of the real bears only make the imaginary bears more powerful.

Each scar on the tree rises up into an invisible paw, extending backwards into our heads.

We are not afraid of the imaginary bears, not really.

They provide an added edge to the noises, to the experience of breaking through the last of the snow and the leaf litter.

They make us feel that our intrusion is noticed.

They are less frightening than the recognition that we walk on empty pathways.

That our passage is brief and unimportant.

That we exist here only as imaginary noises at the edge of a distant bear’s hearing.

IMG_1628The passage of bears is well-marked

I like being something that a bear might have imagined.

While I don’t have bears, I do have other imaginary animals available in my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, over here.

Fields of Gold

The fallow fields are to the south

This time of year

The fields closest to the farm

And farthest from the hills

When the farms are gone

The fields stay for awhile

Before the pine and aspen grow

I walk there sometimes

Those fields left to yarrow

And dandelions

All the more beautiful

For the briefness of their fierce embrace

Of colour

Of living

IMG_2255These are the fields I remember, long after they have passed

I think a lot about the changing face of the land around me. It is always beautiful.

If you’d like to see some more colour, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here.


In Passing

These things we notice

The odd buoyancy of moss

Beneath our boots

The incessant murmur

Of cold water

A shaft of light

Breaking through the canopy

A small illumination

Of the world beneath

IMG_2401A quiet point of passage

I love hiking and love even more the ability it has to help me clear my head.

If you’d like to see some more passages, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here.

The Middle of Nowhere

I grew up in quiet places.

While I have lived in cities and towns and small basement apartments with coaster-sized spiders, I am most comfortable and most happy where I can hear myself think.

There is something that sparks the current of creative electricity when I am miles from other voices, other stresses.

The smell of rotting wood, the soft buzz of small insects and muted bird calls, the press and scratch of deep moss against my ankles and my hands-

My head is clearest here.

In these spaces, I can slow down the thousand miles my brain travels every minute.

I can pull out the individual strands of colour and thought, rearrange them into something new and strange.

I am inspired by the sensation of the sun as a tangible hand stretching through the trees.

I am inspired by the opposite of the sound of a slamming door and footsteps retreating down the stairs into the night.

IMG_9169There is a unity in silence, a knowledge in an endless sky

This is a week about inspirations, both obvious and otherwise.

For the thoughts inspired by the silence, you can read my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.


Look for the Polyfill Lining


When two sleeping bags love each other very much

It is important to cross-check

Their sub-zero compatibility


This week will be a series of profound thoughts based on strange pictures I’ve taken. “Profound” and “thoughts” may have up to a 90% margin of error relative to dictionary definitions.


If you would like more cold-compatible tales, I have also written a fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.



Beneath My Feet

I am a terrible person to take for a hike.

Oh, I follow safety guidelines, I pack my weight, and I don’t make bad jokes about going over the edge of the cliff.


I am not a destination hiker.

I do not hike to reach the end point.

The end point is a pleasant side effect of hiking.

I cannot tell you how many steps to the summit.

I can tell you when the mallow is in bloom, where the siskens nest, what the sun looks like when it reflects off the surface of a still alpine pond.

I know what it feels like to run sphagnum through my fingers, to peer so close to the tree I can see the paths created by ants running lace-like through the bark.

My feet are not ephemeral, passing without recognition along a fixed pathway.

They are connected, solidly, to the world beneath me.

I acknowledge this world with every step, with every word I write.

I am not a thousand feet away, staring out from the summit.

Every step, every word-

I am here.

IMG_5284Here. Always.

While spending too much time looking at where I am rather than where I am going, I have also written a fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor. It is available here.