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Issue #150, Arches, Canyonlands and Boulder County, November and December, 2008. Photos and haiku by Jonathan Machen.

contrails in clear sky
brown cloud hugs the horizon
november road trip

keeping an eye
on traffic infractions
two policemen chat

slipping through shadows
climbing to snowy divide
destined for the desert

talking about romance
and the lack thereof
two kids in the back

warm day discussion
between lodge pole beetle kill
and dry mountain slope

unquenchable thirst:
condos around lake dillon
suck the water dry

family concerns and troubles
left by the wayside
enchanted mesa

forced to walk
on crypto-biotic soil
adventure backfires

waterfall in the desert
stepping over
blue lichen

holding on tightly
to family drama
then letting it go

thanksgiving day hike
never really that far
from motor-tourists

on potholes
canyon basin hopping

thanksgiving rain storm
wet slickrock

sandstone laced with purple
some kind
of mineral accident

on my way to get photos
I see two guys with tripods
getting photos

thankful for the moisture
that sculpted
arches cottonwood labyrinth

down at sand level
pitter-patter of rain

once out of the car
i discover gigantic canyon
hidden from motorists

writing haiku
at the edge of december
rain soaks the ground

desert so fragile
even my subtle footprints
cause me to cringe

rock cairn like a prairie dog
startles me on
my hiking muse

rendered speechless
by the remarkable calm
despite the rain

while microbally rich,
crypto-biotic soil
ever so vulnerable

after last photo
humming william tell overture
happily to myself

plenty of rain
and microbes to drink
in canyon potholes

subsumed by the beauty
extruding haiku
as i walk


an emeralds surface:
sandstone rock sheen

minutes multiply
in haiku slick-rocking
slick-walking desert traverse

desert abundance
november rain
keeping soil alive

in between rain storms
aromatic winter sage
drifts over cactus

with deep gratitude
my own body
healthy and free

documenter's shame
not capturing everything
that i could

canyon shadow
yields trespass in the daytime
at night, the gates close

fat footprint lion tracks
reveal silent journey
above our house

the materialist urge
to value christmas

what matters most
my family and my wife
in this blessed life

documenter in me
feeling shamed I have not captured
the really great stuff

soil, sun and snow
my deepest blessings

december embrace
chilly wind upon my face
doorway transition/threshold strikes me/wind escapes the door/cold air escapes

realizing i spend
most of my outdoor time
messing with camera straps

snow and silence
entire basin to myself
just outside of town

seasonal grace
low temperatures, long angles
on windy ridge top

the wash and rinse
cycle of nature now complete
with cleansing wind

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen