Wild Flower

wildflowers

Beauty just is
unvarnished
moving with wind
colored with sun

I walked for miles
with no destination
noting the frequency of
the wild flower

the pillars of stems
thorny or delicate
upholding the grace of
a small existence

Many line the road
leaning with flare
But petals that unfold in
the wild find their way

where we’ll never walk
I think, perhaps, that
is what it means to be
truly wild

Driftwood

He, with his hands tied
Rode wind and set sail in afternoon
Taking pockets of sliced mountain
Running streams of chilled water

He, stuffed on wilderness
Carved animals faces
Knifing features into memory
Piecing together childhoods

He, once stood on street corners
Before resting his bones on limestone
Begging for view, splayed before him like a wife
On speckled sheets, threading silken legs of scenery

He, drawn to edges, laid his ashes
To be carried into horizon and sunset
To saturate earth like the breath of
Green pastures and liquid hills

He, drifted upon land
Unhinged
Untethered
Until he whittled himself into wind

 

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S. S. Hicks

 

 

Sunset Witness

 

 

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S. S. Hicks (Sunset off Yarnell Mountain)

 

I drove into a sun-drenched,
Arizona sky.
Met the horizon swallowing day.
Hiked for miles to
disappear into the stretch of land.

In blankets of clouds I stood.
Casting a line
to catch shadow puppets
swimming in valley streams,
patterns snagging on reflections.

Surrounded in trees saturated in lichen green,
pillared stalks of the century plant,
dirt threaded in golden grass,
branches twisting into gnarled sculptures,
clawing at the blue tarp sky,
stirring colors to paint
the sweet carnival.
While the earth begged to be noticed,
dwarfing the demons in our heads.

 

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S. S. Hicks

Where Screens Don’t Work

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“The reason people turn to screens hasn’t changed much over the years. They remain mirrors that reflect a species in retreat from the burdens of modern consciousness, from boredom and isolation and helplessness. It’s natural for children to seek out a powerful tool to banish these feelings. But the only reliable antidote to such burdens, based on my own experience, is not immersion in brighter and mightier screens but the capacity to slow our minds and pay sustained attention to the world around us. This is how all of us – whether artists or scientists or kindergartners – find beauty and meaning in the unceasing rush of experience. It’s how we develop empathy for other people, and the humility to accept our failures and keep struggling.”

–Steve Almond, “The iPads Are Coming!” The New York Times Magazine, Sunday, June 23, 2013

This is a candid photo of my son last summer when we went RVing in the Adirondacks, where technology didn’t work. He stood there for a long while. As a parent, I hope to witness many more moments like this.