Otter Dreams

Three poets, Jeff Saslow, Rich Kessler, and Christina Gregory try to find light and balance during the darkness of winter and the stress of everyday life. Join them, as they express their connection to Nature through the written word.
                                                                                       Unless noted, all photos by Old Naturalist

River Otters
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The river otter’s homes are the joy of open holes,
Usually a foot in diameter,
and dot snowy Minnehaha Creek
On a cold, February afternoon.
The dark icy water of blackness houses a secret under the white world beneath my feet.

The otters enter the abyss to fish,
But then use the snowy creek to slide along as a game and a ritual,
Much like us who walk, ski
and pull children’s sleds on the surface.

The dogs sniff around the half open holes,
Their nose in touch with an otter or two
That danced, slid and fished eight to twelve hours earlier.

Now there are no otters in sight.
No smells that we, of course, can decipher.
But the open holes, the icy slides,
The dog’s attention are a testament
To something much deeper and unknown on the Creek,
Inside our bodies and just inside the walls of our world.

  J. Saslow –  Feb. 2015

 

White fieldOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

White blizzard
Low winter angle of sunlight
Brown grasses through white frosting
I ski through my cake
Past twilight into the night

 

 Blanketed hills
Tucked in dark woods
I push and slide
Toward marshmallow prairies
My insides are sucking on sweets
While my winded face meets my self again.

J. Saslow

 

IMG_1207Haikus – Rich Kessler


ice cracks underfoot

alone   silence broken
by my racing heart     

 

bare cold icy branch                        
closed buds huddle together
long for spring’s warm sun

 

 

 fullMoonRichI profess my love
midnight    new year’s eve
full moon steals the show

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI live between two skis.
Across a snow white sheet.
On a sky-blue-pink March day.
The wind blows a mystery.

I fall asleep between seconds.
My body shudders
I’m on the upward side of time
I awake
Sliding on a frozen, glass creek
My heart is all that is warm.

J. Saslow       March ‘09

 

 

snowcrystal

www.its.caltech.edu

Spontaneous Combustion

In the mist of mystery
In the spheres of frozen longing
You are born
Quickened by the rise and fall of wind
The mystical design of old.

Pure vapor is the womb
Tossed about the riding tide of streaming air
Agitated, perplexed, driven to create and birth your wonder for our viewing.

You trick us into thinking you are unique
Yet you follow the manual; dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s
Always 6 branches
Always measured
Always following your crystal destiny.

Condensing cold upon the nascent flake
You grow tihe frenetic energy into branches, fern like and precious.
Colonized symmetrically
Randomized mathematically
Stretched beyond the imagination

And in the chemical bond you join to others like yourself
Lining up, marching as it were, into the form within your knowing
And deep within you assemble
Spontaneously
Organically
Magically,,,

Fresh baby snow

Christina Gregory, January 2015

 

 

River Otter Tracks

River Otter Tracks

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6 Responses to Otter Dreams

  1. Steven Casper says:

    Cool pics and words. I’ve seen mink and lots of muskrats in the Minnehaha, but no otters yet. Hope they catch a big fat carp to help get them thru the rest of Feb.!
    Hey Larry, have you seen any fish struggling at the dam like last year about this time? Hopefully, they’re getting enough oxygen at this point and make it to spring.

  2. Christina Gregory says:

    Here is a poem I created based on the science of how snowflakes are formed: January 2015

    Spontaneous Combustion

    In the mist of mystery
    In the spheres of frozen longing
    You are born
    Quickened by the rise and fall of wind
    The mystical design of old.

    Pure vapor is the womb
    Tossed about the riding tide of streaming air
    Agitated, perplexed, driven to create and birth your wonder for our viewing.

    You trick us into thinking you are unique
    Yet you follow the manual; dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s
    Always 6 breanches
    Always measured
    Always following your crystal destiny.

    Condensing cold upon the nascent flake
    You grow tihe frenetic energy into branches, fern like and precious.
    Colonized symmetrically
    Randomized mathematically
    Stretched beyond the imagination

    And in the chemical bond you join to others like yourself
    Lining up, marching as it were, into the form within your knowing
    And deep within you assemble
    Spontaneously
    Organically
    Magically,,,

    Fresh baby snow

  3. Patricia Hauser says:

    Great pictures to go with the poems. I never thought of what otters do in winter–fun to learn! The middle Haiku by Rich K. really connected to me. Christina’s poem about the snowflake reminded me of my brother and I discussing snowflakes as kids…with a lot less fancy vocabulary. Hats off to all the Poets in the blog! So glad there are others out there enjoying the beauty of winter and able to share it.

  4. jessica Blum says:

    Love all the poetry!!Wonderful Rich, Christina and Jeff.

  5. lu harland says:

    very nice. love it

  6. Cindy Eyden says:

    Thank you all for the touch of poetry that caresses the soul!

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