Riding hours through emerald mountains
to Bahir Dar.
We drove up a steep road,
monkeys begging near the roadside.
Car parked, we climbed a steep hill.
There she was
a silver ribbon far below
two white robed people
walked, hippos barely visible.
a life’s longing fulfilled.
Flowing from Lake Tana,
she lay below me,
the legendary river,
ancient people, ancient stories,
builder of civilizations,
Instead of walking around the neighborhood, today my neighbor and I took a long walk along one of the paths in Bonelli Regional Park ten minutes from where we live. There are over 30 miles of hiking and bike trails in the park. We took the easy paved walk overlooking the lake.
In summer people swim and boat here. Now it is mostly hiking, dog walking, biking, and fishing.
On this side of the lake many houses, some very large, overlook the lake. A few have vineyards or orchards on the slope near the houses.
Mt Baldy rises in the background. Several of the mountains remain snowcapped.
Several species of ducks, but mostly mallards, and a few geese reside here. In this area we saw a man fishing.
Rose remnants float in my palm
of fresh blood
cerise, burnt orange, gold.
A pale blue dragon
across a salmon sky.
Slowly indigo night
only the coyotes sing.
Two more puma paintings grace my house, one in my bedroom and one in my office. The one in my office was painted by Amarillo artist Steven Cost and needs framing.
in my dreams
scream your screams
feel your blood
soft golden fur
wound in my hair
your amber eyes
through my brown
Years ago while visiting Albuquerque or Santa Fe, I acquired a Zuni puma fetish. It is the only fetish I own. I bought it because it is a puma, the Directional Guardian and prey god of the North, representing independence, personal power, intensity, and loyalty, carried by travelers to protect their journey. It resides on a dresser in my bedroom, watching over me, protecting my life journey.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my puma obsession extends to researching them and writing poems about them. The following poem was originally published in my book, “On the Rim of Wonder”.
My neighbor walked out her door
found a puma lying on the lawn.
Puma rose, stretched, disappeared.
At night when I open my gate
I wonder if she lurks
behind the cedar trees,
A Zuni puma fetish guards my sleep.
I run with puma
I scream and howl
I hike the canyon
stroll around my house
look for puma tracks.
I see none.
I would rather die by puma
than in a car wreck.
Some people possess obsessions. For me only one really exists–pumas. I kept hoping I might see one when I lived at the edge of a canyon in the Panhandle of Texas even though I knew where I lived was probably too populated. Now, living in LA Country, I realize pumas can be anywhere. Have not seen one yet, but I keep hoping. I’ve considered driving 1/2 hour up into the Los Angeles National Forest to hike and hope. Since one of my walking partners refused to go any farther when the sign said “Watch for Bears”, I would have to take the hike alone. The bear sign did not deter me, but she could not go home since I drove so I went back to the car with her. People see bears in town all the time, but rarely pumas or if they are around, they hide. My puma obsession includes dreaming about them and writing poetry where they star. Here is one of the puma poems I wrote while I still lived in Texas.
I watch for eyes, blue changing to amber and back.
I put my palm, fingers stretched to measure, into the footprint.
Too small, bobcat
My thin body squeezes between the rocks,
climbing quietly down the cliff.
Watching, listening, searching.
Pale amber rushes across my vision line.
My hearth quakes.
I watch; I wait.
It is Isabella, a golden whir chasing rabbits.
At sunrise, I walk the rim,
At sunset, I walk the rim,
At night, I walk the rim,
No puma; not yet.
I’ve had this photo, taken by a famous wildlife photographer, for at least a decade. She, yes, it is a she, watches over me daily. In my bedroom is a puma Zuni fetish and a painting. I have a couple of others here and there in addition to books about pumas. Someday before I die, hopefully.
In honor of Earth Day
I present you roses:
may they bring joy
feelings of renewal
a sense of beauty
value of our precious planet.
In the last six weeks I have travelled to these gardens five times, two alone and three with house guests. Amid all the turmoil in the world today this is a place where nature continues its grand display, instilling a sense of peace and quiet.
Depending on how you walk through the gardens, you walk to Japanese first, then Chinese, then back to the Japanese Gardens. This and the following few photos are the Chinese Gardens.
The Chinese Garden is filled with various sizes of limestone that looks like sculptures but is natural. The next time I go, I am going to learn what is written on many of the pieces of limestone.
After five times, I have seen most of the gardens–next post will be some photos of the Australian area–and the two art galleries. Never made it to the library yet.
Cold, windless morning
Sounds of silence
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