Posted by: highmountainmuse | October 12, 2009

On a naked hillside

A late autumn hillside above Brewster Park

A late autumn hillside above Brewster Park

On a naked hillside

Where the aspen stand like sticks

Fine branches free of leaves

Starkly fixed against the autumn sky

Harsh and cold and grey


Stillness covers exposed rock and dirt

Undressed soil like flesh of the mountain

Plain with grasses dried and brown

Flattened from the last snow

And the nest snow

Static air barren of blowing leaves

Silence from the birds


Now abandoned without protection

Am I meant to follow suit

Though I choose to remain here

Against natures heading voice

Against your better judgment


Swirling winds agitate the last of life

Yet unable to awaken or arouse

On this deserted hillside

Unvarnished and simple and obvious


Where do we find comfort in this wind

When the world beside the disturbed branches

Is so subdued in this lingering moment

Grasping at motionless movement

As we remain awaiting winter

With a natural hesitation

And dance among the quiet trees



  1. Hi from the Four Corners area!
    I was looking for some info on building a stone wall behind a wood stove and your website came up. I saw the photo of the mountains and thought, That sure looks like the countryside close to Wolf Creek Pass. Wasn’t too far off when I checked out where you live! We’ve been back and forth on Highway 160 quite a bit but never through Creede. We live on a farm by Pleasant View.
    Nice poetry!

  2. Hi Heidi,
    Thanks for writing, and nice to “meet” another neighbor. (Goats, I see from your e-mail address? Tell more!) We have two stone walls here behind wood stoves, one Bob and I built, the other a friend of my husband built years ago. Both are tried and true and after years of real use, and I’d say… yes, I would definately build another. They are a great way to go – not only look good, but holds the heat, easy to maintain, safe, etc. Please feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions I can help with. In the meanwhile, hope you’ll keep in touch on the blog, and if you find yourself this side of Creede, do stop in!

  3. Gin,

    Just back and saw your well wishes for safe travel, which we had. Both our birthdays (4 days apart, same year).

    Your articles and photos have been super over the past week (just caught up). Couldn’t agree more over your comments about our community here on your mountain! The progression of photos over the past six weeks really brought home to me how fast the mountains change in such a short period of time (spring is like that too.) Seems like the other seasons linger just a little longer.

    I am off to make a rose presentation today. Have you ever grown any roses on Lost Trail? The wild ones are very nice.


  4. Al, Welcome back! Hope you two had wonderful birthday celebrations, and a really good trip together.

    As you can see from the post just up, more changes, and yes, so quickly these changes come. A whirlwind on the mountain, we fly around like leaves in the wind getting ready for the inevidable closing of the mountain from the snows. They’re coming… we’ll be ready. In fact, it’s always a very exciting time. Probably the one of quickest, most dramatic changes, and with the greatest anticipation.

    Please share pix of the roses. I adore roses, and have tried many varieties outside here to no avail, though the wild ones prosper. Our growing zone at this elevation is off the charts. But when I lived in CA, I had the pleasure to work with and cultivate heirloom roses planted by the old ranch matriarch, years and years before my time. I think that was the highlight of my gardens there, though there were many. There are few things I miss giving up living here – roses are one of them. I would like to try growing one, an old fashioned climber, in my kitchen window. Any suggestions?

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