California Landscape


Up close, the hills are tan.
Veins of dark oak fold to ridge
where cows graze, ensnared
by the glare of mid-summer’s day.

Can you see how the wind ripples in
tawny waves rising to where falcons wait
watching for motion only they can see?

But beyond the golden ridge
indigo mountains rise
to pure blue of absolute sky.

You’ll see no movement there,
though I’ve heard how bounding deer
will pause and scan the darker shades –
and, hearing piercing cries, will tensely fly
away from the famished lion’s
flashing eyes.


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