Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates the written word

An alpine glow is depicted on the winter landscape of Rocky Mountain National Park.
National Park Service/Photo/Courtesy Photo

For over 100 years, writers have been inspired by the epic beauty and breathtaking vistas of Rocky Mountain National Park. Last October, the park helped celebrate the fifth annual National Write Out. Created in partnership between the National Writing Project and the National Park Service, Write Out is a two-week celebration of the art of writing.

In conjunction with the month powered by STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), the theme of the park for Write Out was STEAM writing. Writers were encouraged to share their observations, field notes, topics that interest them and what inspired them while exploring the wonders of the outdoors.

Participants could then share their writings with the park. To close the October edition, Rocky Mountain National Park published the following poem, written by Ranger Ishida:


And the next morning I go to the woods near my house

where snow falls, no longer clouds

but pines. Heavy clumps hitting the ground,

digging the web of snow.

Everything sparkles and the branches laugh

in joy as they soar skyward,

relieved of their heaviness.

Where the creek pools, a puddle lies, covered in ice

except on its edges, where the clear water ripples in the breeze.

At the bottom, pine needles, brown and yellow, and soft silt.

And – look harder – tiny creatures, which don’t look like fish or insects,

but somewhere in between. They wriggle, crawl, swim one way,

through clear and pure water. how lucky they are

that they landed here, in this most holy place

high in the mountains, untouched land of all

but the deer and the fox and a few humans

who also know how to love.

I fill my bottle with the clear stream, I take off my jacket

feel the sun. Wind in the branches, soft white

under my feet I walk through the trees

as they let the snow fall and raise their arms to the sky.

Poem reprinted with permission from Rocky Mountain National Park.


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