Mouth of the Hoh River


Mouth of the Hoh; voice in the dark.
The mighty Pacific—twice daily—reaches into you.
Tide pushing towards your mountain source.

Otter, eagle, seal, harlequin duck—
circling your edges, surfing in your threshold,
washing face and feather, congregants & witnesses.

I heard you, relentless river, like a drone,
as I approached through fir, hemlock, spruce.
Their feet, too, tip-toe at your doorstep.



I noted cloven stones, large and small,
the forests’ worth of worn-smooth wood;
the behemoth flares of root, folded aside by your flood.

I stand where your glacial blue meets the ocean’s green.
You fold each crashing wave into your current,
your edges swell as a chest. 

Emergent moon through gossamer cloud,
beckoning the tide into retreat.
The edges of your banks deepen, darken. 

Above the marine layer,
last light reflects on highest clouds,
a softly rung bell.

The moon flowers,
the tide blooms with it,
the sun sets with a pledge before our nightly spin through shadow.

And on the iced slopes above your headwaters,
all the weather the sun and moon can conjure crests.
But under the crashing rhythms, your voice, tireless, speaks.

Your breath on my nape,
I retreat through the trees from your threshold,
You, easement of wild deeps, Mouth of the Hoh.