March 05, 2007

It's A Mostly Quiet Time of Day

This poem was featured on (2005-2006) as the winning entry for the Lariat Laureate contest. I have tried to represent in words the imagery surrounding a backcountry wilderness camp in the Bridger Teton Wilderness Area.

That evening, three grizzly bears were in the bottoms of the stream digging grubs from the fallen logs and doing a little fishing on the side. We camped about 500 yards away on a hillside. The evening was one of those rare moments when mother nature seems to outdo herself in putting on the evening entertainment. Stunning, striking, awe inspiring - adjectives that begin to tell the tale - but not really.

It could have been a perfect picture of paradise where the lamb and the lion lie down together, were it not for the very real menace of the bears. In a way it reminds me of the oldtimers who would say When the lion and the lamb lie down together, make sure you are the lion.

At any rate, whether in the wilderness backcountry or watching livestock, there is seldom if ever a completely quiet time - the best you get is mostly.

It’s A Mostly Quiet Time of Day
by Paul Kern

It’s a mostly quiet time of day,
No one has too much to say.
Muscles ache from what’s been done,
We sit and watch the setting sun.

Purple mist settles over the valley,
Okra and sienna come forth to sally.
The old wests brushes swing center stage,
Indian paint, sego lily, lupine and sage.

Blossoms blazed red in the light of day,
Fade slowly into shades of gray.
Small white petals fold down their husk,
As sunlight drifts softly into dusk.

The cool of the evening wafts on by,
As painted clouds cover up the sky,
Red yellow blazes carry the light,
Of celestial embers into the night.

Dusters and slickers untied and unrolled,
Come off the saddles to ward off the cold,
As the evening dew begins to rise,
Remaining colors fade from our eyes.

Voices are soft away from the crowd,
Muffled and muzzled by a low hanging cloud.
What was yellow and what was white,
Now’s just a shadow in the pale lunar light.

It’s a mostly quiet time of day,
We rise from our rest not much to say,
It’s gray in the east - a new day has begun,
We saddle and ride to the rising sun.

It's a Mostly Quiet Time of Day

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