Mid-summer's sun reddens and
burnishes the hills wheat brown
except where a thin green scratch
at the base of Wildcat Canyon
stretches and winds along the creek-bed.

Gravel paths climb through coastal
mountains of lupin, poppies, and daisies,
past interior valleys of cacti, mariposas,
wild buckwheats, into the Pacific
rain forest of red barked Sequoias.

Wetness collects on pitchy needles, drops
and pools around ancient roots
filling the air with musty fragrance,
branches dip to the warm earth
and kiss new blades of grass.

The path circles a rugged gorge
filled with flowering current and cattail,
it stops near a sturdy redwood bench.
From the creek below, sword ferns
cut through the emerald space.

Scrub oak, alder and pine reach up,
hover, touch, and shade the hot sun.
A dragonfly settles on my outstretched hand;
its blue luminescence rings my finger.
Absorbed, I think of you.

--Leila Rae (2000)