welcome to the haikutimes

Issue #66 July 25-28, 2003. Sangre de Christo Wilderness, Colorado. On the path of fresh haiku, Jonathan Machen, Nicholas Brown and Sanjay Rajan explore the San Isabel trail in the Sangre de Christo Wilderness near Crestone, Colorado, bringing you this breaking news report.

steaming dark asphault
laid thick on the hot highway
road worker gestures

the first ten minutes
we thrash through the underbrush
before finding trail

into the sangres
just north of the great sand dunes
chasing mystery

gigantic bear scat
full of delicate berries
dominating trail

bear scat on the trail
deep claw marks on the tree bark
i live in bear dreams

a life lived alive
begins now in the forest
i climb to the light

scarlet gilia
like dried out chili peppers
shrinking in hot sun

dying butterfly
like a bright thought extinguished
on grey dusty trail

on aspen tree bridge
jazz suddenly paralyzed
by dog vertigo

dog anxiety played out
on slippery log
refusing to move

into wilderness
seeking what is natural
simple and profound

claw marks on aspen
preserving the encounter
between bear and tree

conglomerate rock stones
welded under pressure
like rough cement mix

singing their praises
i walk through crowds
of bluebells and tansy asters

writing dog haiku
in praise and then a squirrel
falls to his sharp teeth

cardiac arrest
watching it take it's last breath
squirrel chomped by jazz

watching squirrel die
reconciling dog nature
with the loss of life

columbine blossoms
bistort and elephant head
crowd spongy tundra

thistles and marmots
high above lake isabel
both calling to me

pedicularis groenlandica
Elephant Head
cirsium scopulorum Alpine thistle

late afternoon climb
clouds soften, picas whistle
hearing my own breath

the valley below
darkens by late afternoon
thunderheads climb high

except for the rain
and occasional thunder
the woods are quiet

climbing hermit peak
focusing close on flowers
yet grandeur abounds

dodecatheon pulchellum
Shooting Star
mertensia ciliata
Tall Chiming Bells

yellow lichen clings
to miniature flatiron
below hermit peak

the landscape ever changing
i sit in silence
wind weather precious moisture

clouds rolling above
their moisture precious
and life a prayer ocean

me and boss thistle
sit on slopes of mountain
bee has now arrived

high on a catwalk
between two mountain valleys
spine of the sangres

creek, crickets, marmots
far away drone of airplane
nicholas sniffling

mossy alpine bog
pedicularis blooming
rare ecosystem

vertical, regal
frasera speciosa
south facing garden

pausing a moment
to modify his head space
nick lies in flowers

pica holds court
amongst columbines and thistles
big ears disappear

clouds build quietly
replacing the morning's haze
with fierce thunderheads

in and out of dreams
i drift unable to shake
last night's reverie

thunder brings rain
fierce downpour mountain echo
four p.m. showers

aconitum columbianum Monkshood

symphonic thunder
while lying in orange dome tent
stereo rumble

the path of a storm
first furious then gentle
thunder receding

last night rain on tent
making pitter patter noise
sleep feels damper now

waking up mouth speaks
nonsense and strange words on strings
foggy brain rising

waking in the dawn
several times too many
but now comes morning

me and boss thistle
sit on slopes of mountain
bee has now arrived

pendulous spiky
alpine thistle droops still more
under a bee's weight

hot rocks on summit
we stare at the four wheel drive
vehicles below

driving hermit pass
people come for a visit
hardly leaving car

trajectory down
through delicate rock gardens
i walk the steep slope

thai noodle dinner
runny freeze dried vegetables
after two hour storm

coyote powwow
in unison by the lake
throughout the dark night

wet earth leaves decay
shadow trail early morning
jazz chasing a scent

to keep us going:
he mutters sanscrit phrases
like bandi badao

walking through wet grass
my boots soaked senses awake
hiking chanting 'om'

as if at the pool
i hang my arms over the rocks
like tanning poolside swimmer

big rain drops lightning
the way the arrow flies on
raven in the sky

flintstone silly theme song
a world full of phobias
show me stars tonight


i come over to sanjay's house at nine
he says he slept from three to eight
he was fixing his computer
and packed in an hour
my house is hot
ninety inside while one hundred outside
consequently i am bothered
and unsettled with backpacking gear
strewn about the floor and
the ozone streets and white heat
summer beating down
on my flat roof
i am glad to be gone for a few days
i leave a parting message on the phone
gone til tuesday
just like that
my garden withers in the heat
i try weeding the tall foreign plants
that have come to rest in my scraggily yard
just enough to give my absence
the look of purpose
not bedraglement.

we drive highway two eighty five past morrison
funky sandstone formations
our saviour santa maria points the way
to cooler climes
the long view of south park greets us
from kenosha pass
sanjay imagines buffallo roaming
an absence of human civilization
indian encampments on the horizon
but actually modern luxury four wheel
drive pickups pass my lumbering subaru.

we meet nicholas at crestone general store
the whole town surrounded by
cleome serrulata
terminal clusters of pink
i wander into a new age store
that sells incense and beads
and pictures of indian dieties
sanjay is uninterested
he has already spotted ganesh in the window

we decide on the san isabel trailhead
find the right road
nicholas gets briefly stuck
in a moment of high centered
four wheeling
we ready our backpacks
in a biar-studded pion heat patch
get lost
that is until we relocate the trail

my pack feels heavier than usual
my shirt completely soaked with sweat
we forget to eat lunch
late afternoon portal of foothills into moraine
we follow the drainage
camp suddenly on the last available flat ground
two hours before it gets dark
several burritoes later
i see stars in the sky above
and lightning flashes from
somewhere across the valley

sleep fitful
my back unfamiliar with the sloped surface
nicholas uses three pads
drifts off while i talk about china
the next morning
leaving the aspen grove
a final stand surrounding
house-sized boulders
we reach an open clearing
cinquefoil and veratrum tenuipetalum
or is it veratrum californicum?
false hellbore corn husk lily
causing aborted lambs
standing bold in full-flowered glory

nicholas goes for a swim
in sheets-of-water-on rock
sanjay's pack hurts his shoulders
he goes slowly

we leave the intimacy of the aspens
break into sunny meadows
curvaceous sweep of this mountain
san luis valley far below

we head into the basin of san isabel lake
the path strewn with
pedicularis groenlandica
the lovely elephant head
i am on my knees taking pictures
basking in another sunny corridor of flowers

we set up camp
i am off again to sketch
i find marmots guarding
heavy drooping cirsium scopulorum
alpine or rocky mountain thistle
musky odor of droppings around the base
of the white bushy-headed spiny thistle
above treeline, almost like
a sacred altar
i walk higher to twelve thousand six hundred feet
greeting the panorama of crestone peak
crestone needle and blanca peak to the south
i am smack dab in the middle
of an alpine uplift, a corridor
of rock synclines
only me and the wind
at five fourteen p.m.
on a saturday in july two thousand and three.

among majestic peaks
our bodies and our minds
so inconsequential

mosquitoes ring
around my ear
not so angry as alaska's

backpack hurting
my hips and my shoulders
time for upgrade?

last nite's rain
still so fresh
on my beaten soles

lost glacier
all that remains
a puddle of water

this wild place
and yellows
some known
so many unknown.

mountains jagged
all around
distant jet
ever so distant
war and

plains now
so distant
from this high point
crestone needles
so sharp
so does
the valley

of lush green
and pale brown
and speckles of
snow -white and black
cling on to these majestic peaks
jazz breathing
panting loud
me quiet
so quiet
as this place.

i stand tall
among these peaks
yet feel
so incosequential.

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen