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Rocky Mountain Chapter

DMN “Hike and Write” produces Mount Falcon haiku

By Mat Elsner
DMN Chair

Pikes Peak Hiking Outting

On a warm, sunny Sunday morning in late August, a small group of Sierra Club members gathered at Mount Falcon Park in Morrison, Colo.,for a half-day of hiking, writing, and learning about the history and flora of the area.

The “Hike and Write” event featured an easy/moderate three-mile hike with two breaks for writing descriptive prose and haiku—an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing five, seven and five syllables respectively. Traditionally, haiku often deal with nature and juxtapositions, serving as an apt way to interpret the many facets of Mount Falcon Park.

This was the first outing sponsored by the new Sierra Club Denver Metro Network. The guide for the outing was Dr. Richard F. Fleck, a former seasonal park ranger, naturalist and professor of American literature and environmental writing. He is the author of several books, including his latest, Desert Rims to Mountains High (Portland: West Winds Press, Sept. 4, 2013). Colleen Finnerty, an active and certified Sierra Club outings leader in the Denver area, co-hosted the event.

Along with water and other hiking essentials, hikers brought paper and writing instruments and shared their creative output with each other as they wrote. Here are their Mount Falcon Park-inspired haiku, which they share with fellow Sierra Club members:

Hummingbird flutters
before my eyes as if to
say see my haiku!
- Richard Fleck

At the overlook
a ribbon of grey concrete
moves like a river
- Colleen Finnerty

Insistent raven
laughs at silly human plans
he knows nothing lasts
- Mathew Elsner

Lightning left this place
fortunes may burn like hillsides
craggy peaks stand watch
- Amy Keller

Splendor of days past
shell of yesterday's mansion
a stone monument
- JoLynn Jarboe


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