Lee Kelly      Two Poems      September 2011


Sipping Rum on the High Meadow

High morning tea on the white rock
While an eagle swooped toward the rock
Flapped once, circled, soared away.
Camp robbers cry across the clearing
While we watch for the return of the eagle or elk.

We wait for the sun to set over chosen stones,
Sipping rum on the high meadow,
Time to take another picture of Jason's rock.
Get more snow, be sure to pick out
The pine needles this time.

Sun setting on the far ridge.
Long since I was a herdsman.
We wait for the sunset with a few mosquitoes,
Rum and a lot of laughter.
When she laughs all the old stories
Make sense. Still waiting for the big elk
Sipping rum on the high meadow.

--From a backpacking journal, Salmon River, Idaho, July 1978


Below the high bridge
Over the Dudh Khosi,
We fashion a small leaf boat
And send her ashes to the sea.

Some mornings, now able
To wake up with new memories

--Khumbu, Nepal, 1997