The “Beauty Hunter”

We live at the edge, where 2500 miles of the North American continent meets 5000 miles of open Pacific Ocean. We perch high on a hill on the central Oregon Coast looking down onto the waters of the fertile Salmon River estuary where it straddles the 45th parallel and the basalt mass of Cascade Head juts a mile out into the sea. (our house shown below) The movement of the tides flow in and out twice a day below us, like some great planetary breath.

We are a minority in this majority of wildness.

These daily entries are those of a hunter in this landscape. The hunted? A complex, elegant and natural beauty.

If you are so moved please let me know what you think of them…

Duncan

 

 

 

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Red

This entry is in the form of two recent poems and photos.

it is one of the mysteries

that the green backs of leaves
and the green backs of salmon
turn red at the same time

converging
miles from the sea
in the clear streams of fall
before the rains have come

perhaps it is the leaf
returning
to its original darkness
descending from green
through yellow
and red
on its journey back
to the black earth

perhaps it is so with the salmon
returning to its source
red
where she can see him
in the liquid shadows
under the dark log

her belly
resting on smooth black gravel
swollen with eggs
charged and ready

red
so she knows
in the moment she spills her seed
that the risk she takes
she will not take
alone.

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Playing rough

so well behaved
during an unbroken
stream of blue days
that I clean forgot
you could play
so rough

on the last
hot day of October
your light was
ready to spill over the edge
into darkness
the thin gray horizon
hiding winter
just
out of sight

then you came in swinging
6 straight days
of house rocking punches
10 inches of
life giving liquid
falling in the span
of one mornings cup of coffee to the next
the river gorged
and pushed out of its banks
by the advancing tide
sometimes
you just don’t know
when to quit

as I walk
more evidence
of your mood
lies strewn across the road
in piles
of living matter
having delivered
on their promise
that took
all of the days of spring and summer
to keep

as i sit
writing this
the thud
of the surf
calls me to walk
outside
drawn
by the
pull of
you and your
knee high foam
and broken trees
and the rearing
flagrant
creaming
ladder of waves
that you make from
six thousand miles of sea
and the thin membrane of land
under my feet

and in all of this
you say
it is easy to walk
in the high meadows of summer
when the light is low in the West
and the world holds still

but to really
know me
you say
i want you here
in THIS
humbled by cold
salt rimmed eyes
staring into the west
at me
dressed in grey
coming at you

playing
rough

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