elk wisdom

on a foggy summer’s morn

wisps of rolling white fingers

drifted slowly    across a silenced oregon coastline

blanketing the new hours past dawn


like errant cotton candy

dipped and spun from a cache of last evening’s starshow

it sprawled lazily

across the pine-lined   vacant  coastal highway

while a cacophony of  bleating foghorns in the distance

sang in from a close,  invisible sea…


he appeared quietly         without fanfare or  frenetic crashing to the forest’s edge

instead slowly ambling to the crest of the embankment

where he rose up in all  his majestic         elk glory

towering in multiple measure     above our four-wheeled tin and steel cage

which he brought to a tentative, pulled over halt      by his sighting-gift for the early travelers…


like a giant, sprawling crown     an immense headdress of boney antler graced his head

while mossy, almost comical           bark remnants covered his snout

the result of an early day’s ritual            a daybreak elk toilette scratching session, no doubt..

his harem of elk cows didn’t seem to mind          choosing instead to remain distracted behind their leader god

while awaiting his thoughtful command     they grazed lazily at bush and flower  at the forest’s edge…

and as his head slowly turned from side to side    it appeared that he was checking

both ways to be certain

that his family could make it across the highway  to safety

a careful crossing guard       measuring the sureness of what his vision-story might tell   in this unpredictable land of we uncertain humans…

in a   moment of checking our side of the highway, his eyes fell upon us    enormous glass elk eyes

seemed to stare into mine, gauging the familiar human        sizing us up for charging or ignoring

checking too for the ever-present possibility

and  flash of  the familiar hunter’s weapon..

eyes still locked, we silently shared a wordless moment      you are safe here   no harm will come to you, i spoke

we carry only gratitude  for the surprise of your presence        we thank you for this, a parting gift, as we leave your forests   and we will wait here       for your decision…

in that brief exchange, he appeared to nod in understanding       then glancing again from side to side,  he gave his silent elk-command

proceeding slowly and tentatively across the highway, his elk tribe following his slow lead…

again, this is why we journey to places both

known and unknown

these rare moments           of elk wisdom      are what keep us

contemplating our  choices

as we measure the fine lines

between living for memories

or the ease of a peaceful, quiet death…

About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i write...to release the gamut of emotion...to tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
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