July 03, 2008

Up Alaska Basin Way

I first started riding the backcountry when I was eight years old. When you start at that early age it’s amazing how easy it is to rack up forty years since the last time you went someplace. I visited Sunset Lake with my family on my first backcountry horse trip as a young boy. This poem is a story of two visits to the same place four decades apart. So often there is no going back because of too many changes or so-called improvements. The places you once loved have either been run over or have been all shot to pieces. Once in every other blue moon or so, it happens that the place has not changed and is still the same. When this rarity happens, it is gratifying to the soul. Sunset Lake is the same now as it was then – a bewitching natural reflecting pool high in the Tetons. This poem follows an ancient literary form known as chiasm. It is verse, which is structurally a mirror image of itself – not too different from Sunset Lake.

Up Alaska Basin Way
by Paul Kern

Up Alaska Basin way,
Then north to Hurricane Pass,
You’ll find the trail to a crystal lake,
Still and smooth as glass.

Forty years have come and gone,
Since packhorses, family and friends,
Made camp on the rocky shore,
Of Sunset Lake where the sky begins.

As the alpine lake touched the sky,
Vespers glowing of red and orange,
Cast their spell upon the eye.

As it was then so is it now.

Lakeshore rocks of years gone by,
Untouched today by father time,
Anchor still water to the sky.

Forty years had come and gone,
We rode good horses on a rocky ride,
My father, my son and I returned,
To Sunset Lake on the Idaho side.

Up Alaska Basin way,
Then north to Hurricane Pass,
We followed the trail to a crystal lake,
Still as smooth as glass.

free hit counter script

No comments:

Post a Comment