Collected River Poems by Gregory Hobbs
Whitewater Rafting And then . . . there’s Evening
when the sinews
of the working river
begin to glow . . .
soothing the muscles
of the gritty row women—
out of the shadows settling into
bowstring on bowstring,
from some cavern recess high above—
the sauce of a cradled violin
licks fire . . . into every pore
of every creature
canyon rim to canyon rim
By Gregory Hobbs, Yampa River Trip
Gregory Hobbs has been doing river trips with Holiday since 2006. He has gone on six river trips with us.
Sewing Kit Chock Full of a Few Silly Rules!
Hang on tight when the Captain says so!
Look out for each other!
Respect the critters!
Love the River!
Don’t lose your sewing kit!
COFFEE! COFFEE! COFFEE!
Day begins on the river with birdsong,
resurgent willows, cliffs and shadows,
surging sun poking through a notch
in a butte face, Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!
french toast and bacon.
Down come the overnight habitats,
ingeniously rigged and shaped to embrace
the sleepers dotted about this beach
washed a grain at a time from the West Elks,
Eagle Nest-Gore, the Never Summers
and countless unnamed washes and arroyos
contributing redrock sediment of ocean eons.
We are off and away, a striped cucumber-
looking bug alights on my left arm, climbing
towards my elbow feeling his way through
the filament forest of my limb, I flick him
in the direction of the tamarisk grove
he and his fellow beetles are defoliating
in favor of the resurgent willow sharp tooth
beavers cut their lodges out of, see
their dragging chutes plowing down
the sandy banks.
A Cooper’s Hawk on river right watches
us navigate the shallows. Noon’s a hike
to granaries of the gone Ancient Ones
who’ve left hands imprinted on a cliff
face wall, a boy and his mother or
father and daughter waving welcome
Feathery hands bridging a thousand
years of river flow (thundering at times)
that languidly turns another today as
in the river we drift this hot afternoon
tucked in life preservers bobbing past
a row of shoreline judges rating our
Guides David, Julian, L.B., T.J. and
Christian make it possible for us
to be here, no plug ins,
just the current of the Colorado
bearing us on.
(With Holiday Expeditions, Moab through
Cataract Canyon to Hite, June 23-27, 2012)
In the grotto of the starship columbine
sprinkled amongst the crags and crevices,
rooted in the Morgan formation
between Round Valley sandstone
and the Weber sandstone,
the two-layered Morgan blends
where ledges slide into the young
meandering free-flowing Yampa.
Greg Hobbs 6/17/2013
Blessing Of The Rings
By Gregory Hobbs
Toss a pebble in a pool,
random concentric circles migrate
from the source of all encompassing.
From these beginnings these circles
have no endings, travelling through
space and time on a raft passing through
prehistoric sand dunes, hung with spider
webs, swallow nests, and Moki steps.
Two seeds fall into a niche
and two ponderosa grow side by side,
who or when or why or how are paired
in the where of the CanyonLands.
Heart and source,
soul and reason,
Gregory Hobbs has been doing river trips with Holiday since 2006. He has gone on six river trips with us, but the only one he returned for was the Cataract Canyon trip in Canyonlands National Park. I think it’s safe to say, based off this poem and his return trip, that Cataract may have been his favorite trip.