Firehole and Fumaroles: #atozchallenge Day 7

Yesterday, I shared my experience with an eagle in the Firehole River. Today, I’m going to start with one of my attempts to capture the magic of that moment, with my poem, “Firehole River Splash”.

Poetry might be the best way to attempt to crystallize these epiphanic experiences into language. No, it’s not perfect – but, in writing the poem, I was at least able to reconnect with that instant in a way I can share with you, and give you some hint of its spiritual, magical nature.


Firehole River Splash; Revised

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








Living close to nature has given me many of these moments of inexpressible wonder. Some, though, take longer to show themselves…

When we lived in the Old Faithful area, and worked in the Inn, we often would take walks along the various boardwalks, to enjoy a diverse array of geothermal features. There were the hot pools, like Morning Glory and Grand Prismatic Springs. There were little mud pots, where hot clay bubbled like cooking oatmeal. There were, of course, the geysers – the roar and rumble of superheated water building under pressure until it bursts forth from the earth’s hold in a violent, beautiful, deadly fountain, and washes passersby in sulfurous steambaths.

And then there were the fumaroles

A fumarole is a fissure in the ground, through which the building steam can escape. A few months later, we returned – and there was our fumarole…except that now it was a brand-new, tiny geyser.

“My Liquid Laugh” – a magnetic poetry online poem I wrote in October 2014.

Things like that can happen in Yellowstone, where geothermal forces are ever shifting, always changing…they can happen in life, too. This post is part of the #atozchallenge; find other friendly folks and their fantastic “F” posts by clicking the banner below.


What about you? Have you ever seen something you thought was permanent proven temporary and changeable? Has life handed you any surprise packages to unwrap, lately? Are there any poems within you, or the moment, just waiting to be born? Now’s the time to be daring, because I love your sharing! =)

Porcelain Basin with fumaroles; Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Photo by Jim Peaco, courtesy of YellowstoneNPS, via Flickr. Creative Commons license.



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