Monday, April 28, 2014

Sports Fans


spring reigns, break-up pervades

and we sit, around a campfire

on the bank, watching the pre-game show, slow

the brown river runs, undulant under

the light-filled sky, not

a tailgate party, per se 

but close (hot dogs on sticks and beer), 

we watch with the exuberance granted

a sporting event, jumping to our feet when

upriver an ice jam lets go (the crowds go wild; can you hear them, cheering?) 

silt rolls down cliffs, the water (with sudden speed and velocity)

surges and the river (he)

re-shuffles himself and all the space around him

as ice sheets, big as cars amble and spin and flip

swerving around eddies (I'd say a 50 yard gain

in a matter of seconds) the river

leads in turnovers, how fast does (he) run?

colliding with ice cakes, taking a hit 

the earth is onto a big play


trembling, we sway along with him, jumping

from our lawn chairs perched precariously on an

undercut of silt and root (we live dangerously) and 

then the whistle blows (a deep rumbling of ice bumping rock, boulders)

no one says a word

this guy (the river) is a true Olympian


his rhythm and pulse, tearing clumps of soil and stone and stalk

cutting deep channels, 

"why, it's like he's been shot from a cannon," he shoots

he scores, he is a cloudburst of sky-sweeping liquid, 

he is beauty in motion, he leaps and rolls and 

 within moments, he quiets

We sit down in our chairs, sip our beers, dissolve back into the landscape

and with the eagles perched behind us (in the tall spruce), we wait 

for the next and the next 

staggering play of the day by the

man called Copper, (who moves with grace and power), the all 'round

Invincible, (sports) Illustrated  

Player of the Year

                                                   two trees, husband, dog and me

iced apple?

rock tumbler

Note: Every year in the spring, we sit on the banks of the Copper River at our cabin and watch the ice jams push through at "break-up." Defining moments, the ice makes thunderous and shearing sounds as the river melts and ice sheets from glaciers upriver tumble down its course. 


  1. What an absolute delight. It started me thinking about similar events I've witnessed. Watching the sunset at Mallory Square in Key West, for example. And I have a friend who grew up in Sicily, who tells me her family used to sit out on the balcony, drink wine and watch Mr. Etna erupt.

    Even here, where seasonal changes aren't so dramatic, there are events like the flounder run, and the times when the shrimp come in from the Gulf. There's something compelling about witnesses the rhythms of natural events - or the spectacular odd occurence, for all that. You've captured it beautifully.

  2. Isn't that a fact, witnessing natural events. I've seen the sun set in Key West; it's unforgettable, and quite an event with tourists like myself. What I remember most is how varied and brilliant the colors, and how fast it descends...

  3. Three cheers for 'spring reigns' (love that play on words) and all the action brought to life in the best sporting event of the year.

  4. oh my, I didn't realize the play on words...huh. that's why I love poetry so much; so I could have said spring reigns (rains)...thanks Deborah. Your comments are always so insightful.