Debo Powers presented this poem at the “Wild Poems, Wild Stories, Wild Flathead” program held in Missoula on September 13 and in Whitefish on September 15 . . .
The Wild Mind of God
Trying to face the mind of God in a grove of trees,
I pause and listen.
My breath comes hard and ragged.
Sweat soaks my clothes from the long climb.
It is cool here
Sheltered from the glare of the hot western sun.
The wind swooshing through the branches overhead
The sounds of a creek as it runs over the toes of smooth boulders.
This is a cathedral
This cool dark spot
Dripping with moisture
Heavy with decay and new growth.
I fall to my knees in worship
And feel the soft furry moss against my skin
The wetness soaks into my socks
I breathe deeply in this quiet sacred place
Where creatures find refuge from the blistering heat.
I am not alone here.
Everywhere there are spirits.
An old elk who laid down here to die,
Torn and bleeding from the ravages of wolves and long winters.
A baby tanager that fell from a nest
And never rose again to try its wings.
A trout that was scooped out of its cold watery home
By the claws of a patient mountain lion.
We are all here
In this cathedral
On this mountainside
In the wild mind of God.
— Debo Powers
Inspired by the wildlands of the northern Whitefish Range
in the Flathead National Forest