Yellowstone River—Livingston, Montana

I have come to arc pebbles into the river
talk with the cottonwoods
holding on tight in the wind.
In the distance, bruise-colored mountains
scrape clouds from the sky
send ropes of water
down to carve trenches
in the earth’s brown belly
huddle in small dark pools.
Like the mountains, I am perfectly lonely
the cobalt blue surface of the river
needled with light
the low moan of the wind
the dry grasses
the gray stones.


Posted on

June 19, 2014


  1. Aloka

    OMG! This is unbelievable! Where do these words come from? Rumi would say they come “from Beyond.” “bruise-colored mountains”? OMG! This is absolutely beautiful!

    • Ruelaine Stokes

      thanks so much for your lovely response

    • . . . words are so different from what we see and feel that sometimes it is hard to find ways to fit them to reality, don’t you think? this magnificent and mysterious earth that we live upon calls out for our praise. . . . Rumi would certainly say that. . . . & that “there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
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  2. Anna

    OH!!! am reading your poetry first thing this morning. Aloka didn’t have to encourage me to read them, even though she did. I knew they would be an experience to read. An experience that calls forth beauty, meaning, and vitality. What a way to approach this day “this magnificent and mysterious earth that we live upon calls out for our praise”, true, true!!! So appreciative of your writing.

  3. Judith Colemann

    “Perfectly lonely” evokes the holy solitude that we get from nature.

    • Ruelaine Stokes

      Yes, exactly!


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