Two Poems

Ringtails are not solitary in spring

Your turn to pick—
Slaughter Canyon,
west of the road to Carlsbad.

Brazilian bats and
tarantulas if it’s warm enough.
Too cool for rattlesnakes…damn.

We bushwhack ten easy minutes
from the roadside to the trail,
the final time I don’t regret
offering to take the heavy pack
with our tent.

I feel guilty when I hear another
crunch underfoot, scorpion
These things are everywhere.

I contemplate when I hiked through
life without you.
For an instant I panic that this isn’t real.
Catching the jacket you have
tied around your waist,
I pull you close for a quick peck of
reassurance.

You sneak the spare water bottle from my pack,
a pound-and-a-half lighter for me,
and tear off up the hillside.

Hurry up, Old Man!
echoes from upslope.
With a little wisp of a
chuckle, I smile to myself.
I love you so much…

Coalition

Sun
over a glass lake—
wisps of vapor hover and twist,
higher with
the rise.

I imagine them as
incarnations
of all the events that
created me.

A heavy cloud
descends upon them.
They become One.


Rob Breeding is an environmental scientist and artist who rediscovered writing recently at the urging of friends. He is an avid birder, dedicated conservationist, and accomplished plantsman, all recurring themes in his poetry, sandwiched between experiences of love and death. He truly believes that life, love, nature, and science are all part of the same beautiful stream of existence. He currently lives in a borrowed house in the boondocks of Orchid, Virginia.
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