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Issue #122, White River National Forest, Colorado, December 16-18, 2005. Haiku with Jonathan, David Teitler and Varadaan on a chilly December ski up to the famed Polar Star Inn. Images by Jonathan. Click here to see the full set of White River Photos on Jonathan Machen's Flickr site.

temps -2F
car heater can't keep up
moonlit red-streaked walls
I-70 to Eagle
searching for hot tea
we walk into
the only saloon in Eagle
a bevy of smokers
watches while the fat lady
sings karaoke
after inhaling a deep breath
we are outa there

lampposts with hearts
exhaust hovers in air
minus three in eagle

standing silent
next to frozen river
two horses

meditative chant
meeting forest
calm stillness

twigs thrust upward
white meadow snow morning
calm, still, pregnant, white

white fluff, ice crystal
the many states of water
breath a vapor cloud

despite the beauty
dave's mind revolves around
fantasy football

eight years of hut skiing:
repeating the mantra,
visiting the chill woods
in snowy seasons,
the excitement felt
for fresh powder in the trees,
buoyed by the rising expectations
poking through paige's belly -
the world i know
supplanted from a simple act
a few months ago
the way i view myself,
relationship to nature,
the way of adventures;
the way of everything.
but that is the future.
the present is here
with snow in a pot
sizzling on the stove.

an inch of fresh snow
within the past two days
suspended in bush:
snowballs, a few red berries

young aspen tree
nibbled to fleshy core
by hungry elk

the aspen people
hundred thousand trees
watching all one mind. no thing

oh boy! grin! the hut!
people. everything good inside
instant exhaustion gone

hut discussions -
herbal remedies
magnetite in the brain
animals finding their way back home,
sense of direction/differences between
men, women, horses,
skunks, dogs
biking all over the country;
what life is currently like
in eagle,
why the prescription drug industry
is wrong,
the pineal gland,
skiing moonlight slope
in between the pituitary
and the pineal gland
at the third ventricle,
where both light and sound
are processed.

storm clouds of the afternoon
break and shift into evening
lifting veils of snow to
reveal the moon, day-after
full, yet so bright that
from the hut windows where
we enjoy dinner and fire
the darkened illumination
of trees in low contrast
awakens the forest
in moonlit relief -
too much to just sit and look at -
just an inclination at first,
the idea, a passing fancy -
but soon the boots, skis, mittens,
hats and headlamps are donned,
and the outside world
so wrapped in the mythical
shadowy moonlight,
is only a step away.
we are drawn
higher up the ridge,
in successive meandering
glades of untracked snow,
where the tiny light of a town's
orange sulphur center of humanity
feels small in the vastness
revealed by the moonlight.

up and down
skins on, skins off
frigid chill at top

pine cone quivering
like in hollywood movie
afraid of the cold

i lean down to loosen
the buckle that holds the skin
to my ski without removing
boots from bindings,
the skins peel off
in a decisive stroke -
folded and stuffed
into my coat so the glue won't
harden -
adjust zippers,
gloves, velcro, with
the wind howling and
the pine needles
shuddering under
frost, nose slightly running
in the frigid air,
the horizontal snow blowing,
pushing me to take the first turn,
sinking into powder,
knees touching the surface.

the hut lively
varadaan talking to someone
about ayurveda -
almost sixteen people here now,
young girls curled up by the fire,
spaghetti and chai
now in belly.
exhausted yet fulfilled
she offers me chocolate cake.

icy treeline wind
blowing snow crystals
into my nostrils

powder or nookie:
today i choose powder
some prefer the fire of the loins
others, steep and deep
my needs are simple
powder or nookie
one is cold, the other warm
powder vs. love for a child
no contest

sun spins her last rays
we reach the cars - dusted

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen