Saturday, January 22, 2011

Columbia Gorge

Columbia Gorge

Close your eyes.
Baked soil, sage, dust
Blanket softens
Your back, soft against me

Faded browns, flinty grays
Jagged surfaces
Radiate heat, above, below
Dust dries, etches.

Shadows grow, chills creep in
Pull your body closer
My light breath on your shoulder
Yours, gentle on my arms.

Warm fire grows
Brown becomes orange,
Grays to red
Chills felt together.

Pigments deepen
Give way to night
Diamonds ignite
White crescent watches on.

Warmth grows
Night stretches ahead
Closeness deepens
Open your eyes.

Ken Goree

When I was younger I used to go camping in Eastern Washington quite often. Grant County was the most common destination. The area I was seeing in my mind while writing this poem was along the Columbia Gorge, just east of Vantage, WA. Basalt cliffs drop hundreds, thousands of feet down from the plateau to the Columbia River. The stone surfaces facing west absorb the sun's warmth throughout the afternoon, then radiate it back out as the chill of each night sets in. In this poem I hold close my special lady, as we watch the receding day paint the basalt cliffs orange and red. When the sunset's paints fade, we light our own fire and watch the light dance on the stone surfaces, then notice the stars and crescent moon begin to fill the sky.


  1. And in the distance...against the surface of the rock...fingers and toes perched in the tiny cracks that line the rock see a familiar form...and you and your special lady smile...because you know it is your friend Kelly...connecting to the universe in the most raw and powerful way...her body...the rock..God...