Sundown on the Badfish

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Tempestuous Twilight

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
– Rabindranath Tagore

Sullen Waters

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Here delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud,
Come floating downward in airy play,
Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd
That whiten by night the milky way;
There broader and burlier masses fall;
The sullen water buries them all–
Flake after flake–
All drowned in the dark and silent lake.

– Excerpt from “The Snow-Shower” by William Cullen Bryant

A Crown of Autumn Leaves

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Yellow fall roars
Over the ground.
Loud, in the leafy sun that pours
Liquid through doors,
Yellow, the leaves twist down

Glowing in wind and change,
The orange leaf tells

How one more season will alter and range,
Working the strange
Colors of clamor and bells

When autumn gathers, the tree
That the leaves sang
Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,
Turns like a key,
Opening air where they hang

One of the hanging leaves,
Deeply maroon,
Tightens its final hold, receives,
Finally weaves
Through, and is covered soon

Holding past summer’s hold,
Open and strong,
One of the leaves in the crown is gold,
Set in the cold
Where the old seasons belong.

– Excerpts from “A Crown of Autumn Leaves” by Annie Finch

Barbaric Black and Burning Gold

Deep with divine tautology,
The sunset’s mighty mystery
Again has traced the scroll-like west
With hieroglyphs of burning gold:
Forever new, forever old,
Its miracle is manifest.

Time lays the scroll away. And now
Above the hills a giant brow
Of cloud Night lifts; and from his arm,
Barbaric black, upon the world,
With thunder, wind and fire, is hurled
His awful argument of storm.

What part, O man, is yours in such?
Whose awe and wonder are in touch
With Nature,–speaking rapture to
Your soul,–yet leaving in your reach
No human word of thought or speech
Commensurate with the thing you view.

– “Sunset and Storm” by Madison Julius Cawein

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© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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This Hour of Awe

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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5 AM. One-quarter past.
Distant chimes inform me this.

A bell peal knells the mist.
And sunlight’s

not yet bludgeoning.
But some light gets blood going.

Last night it was snowing
and now

every path’s a pall.
Though mine the only footfalls

at this hour of awe. Above
hangs a canopy of needle leaf.

Below, the season’s
mean deceit—

that everything stays
white and clean.

It doesn’t, of course,
but I wish it. My prayers

are green with this intent,
imploring winter wrens

to trill and begging scuttling bucks
come back.

There’s something that I lack.
A wryneck

bullet-beaks a branch.
His woodworm didn’t have a chance.

What I miss,
I’ve never had.

But I am not a ghost.
I am a guest.

And life is thirst,
at best.

So do not strike me, Heart.
I am, too, tinder.

I’m flammable
as birch bark, even damp.

Blue spruce, bee-eater—
be sweeter to me.

Let larksong shudder
to its January wheeze,

but gift these hands a happiness
just once.

It is half passed.
And I am cold.

Another peal has tolled.
I’ve told the sum of my appeals.

I need not watch for fox.
They do not congregate at dawn.

But I would,
were I one.

– Jill Alexander Essbaum, “Would-Land”

Badfish Goodnight

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

The Badfish Creek in southern Wisconsin was originally named Waucoma by the original Native American inhabitants.

This account of how the Badfish mistakingly got its name comes from the Cooksville Blog:

“The name, “Bad Fish,” appears to have been applied, perhaps mistakenly, in late 1833, when the U.S. government land surveyors were moving through the Wisconsin part of the Michigan Territory from the east and the Rock River to the west past the Yahara (Catfish) River and on further west in Rock County (then part of Brown County), through a “Rolling Prairie,” as their sketch map called it. When the surveyors came upon a large creek in the northwest corner of what is now Rock County, they apparently thought they had reached a part of the Bad Fish River (later the Sugar River) system.

The Bad Fish River was the name of the upper branch of the Sugar River at that time. The land surveyors presumed, mistakenly, that the little creek flowing from that direction was a small tributary of the Bad Fish River. Thus, they named it the Bad Fish Creek.

For whatever reason, the name “Bad Fish Creek” was recorded in the early 1830s survey.”

The Badfish Creek is now a favorite paddling destination in the Madison – Oregon area.

Just an Illusion

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

“Dusk, is just an illusion, because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are; there cannot be one without the other, yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel, I remember wondering to be always together, yet forever apart?”

– Nicholas Sparks

Reflections of Human Art

Canon EOS 5D
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

“Divine Nature gave the fields, human art built the cities.”

– Marcus Terentius Varro