Firehole River Splash – OctPoWriMo, Oct. 17, 2012


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Firehole River Splash

(Yellowstone National Park Wyoming, 1999)

I walk along the bank with my young pup

Respectful of this wild Wyoming land of

Bison, bear, and wolves.

I’m watching the puppy explore

With his sensitive, busy nose

Until I hear the splash.

Then I look up, confused because

There is nothing here to make

such a sound

With such a feel of substance to it.

I scan the river, instinct freed

To feel through my senses in a way

Not needed in the workaday world.

But no instinct could prepare me

For the breath stopping moment

Something rising from the water

Something alive –

The moment crystal and infinite

White feathered head

Yellow eye meeting mine without

Hesitation or fear.

I am the one who does not belong


Rising, rising, rising…


Rainbows of water

Powerful wings spread and lift

Beak opens in a fierce cry

Away from the trees on the

Opposite bank comes

Eager answer.

And now, the talons

Clutching the small, arching trout

Who could not avoid

The bald eagle








English: Cliff geyser and Firehole river at Bl...
English: Cliff geyser and Firehole river at Black Sand Basin in Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park Français : Firehole river et Cliff geyser dans le Parc national de Yellowstone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


  1. Loved this memory poem. I saw an eagle in the wild once and will never forget the sound of its immense wings swooping through the woods. You capture the moment beautifully!

    • Beth –

      I was gobsmacked. Such an intimate moment, and so profound.

      Once, a great horned owl swooped only a foot or two over my head as I was walking home from work. I couldn’t see her as she passed, but her wings were like a very powerful whisper…I can see why a mouse would never know she was above…

      Thank you for sharing your wonder, and for your kindness…

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