Patches of grassy land stand above the water. They lop up the lake into a labyrinth of passageways. Even in a shallow draft canoe, one can often see past the phumdi grass, but still one must know the tiny isles or be trapped among them.
a narrow boat
silently glides between
The landscape is strewn with boulders, its topography formed from piles of them, its flat fields dotted with them. These boulders are the remnants of a once mighty mountain -- an ancient mountain.
People stand in awe of those rough, angular slabs of granite, standing a mile high. But those are the young whippersnappers.
This mountain is so old that it's just a pile of bones, devoid of connective tissue or fleshy covering. It's a corpse of a mountain that has half buried itself.
the ancient mountain
is now bone-smooth boulders
its age unsung
Spotted deer framed in a glade, the warm morning light showing each coat to be a distinct shade of tawny brown. Two deep brown eyes - glassy but lively - keep watch, while the herd hangs heads low, grazing lazily on the overgrown greenery. The deer mill about so languidly that one could count each one's spots.
grazing in a glade,
one stands sentry
The river glides like a glassy sheet. It seems to steam, but it's just fog forming over the frigid water that is nevertheless a reservoir of heat compared to the freezing air above. The fog erases the sharp edges that make the world seem real -- neither painting nor figment. The far shore is a brush-dabbed fiction... and I may be, also. The early morning cold affects my brain in the same manner that the fog influences the scene.
makes the cold morning
a painted scene
The forest is silent, and winter has painted the woods in earthen hues. Bare black loam is spottily strewn with beige to brown leaves -- dried to a curl and crunch that's almost crumbling. If any animals are moving, it's only at the eyes. There're no skittering feet, no frantic digging, no chirped warnings, and no explosive attempts to flee.
Then, at the base of a downed log, there's a lively scene of vibrant green moss and tender, burnished-orange fungi caps.
winter forest --
all seems dead or dormant,
but one tender scene