Snow echoed on the shelter
with breath wet on the red bag
we slept inside
as a white forest grew from the night.
Grey smoke arose against a hill in fog,
the winds revealed a canyon of stone
and shining gold leaves
in the ravines
narrowing for the bear dweller.
Quartz broke where the river turned
below another mountain born
from the eyelids
I painted with the dark bloom
of yellow witch hazel and blue tar.
The spinning cliffs stilled
above the sound of water on rock
to imprint this abyss
on my throat like a brave song.
~ John Swain