How about a game of hopscotch across these stream cobbles 
         with a clover chain for a lanyard-
         -wet feet settling any dispute 
over who stepped out of the lines?

Or maybe we should play follow-the-leader
         on our bellies,
         trailing the ants on their various adventures.

Or, if nobody’s around, why not play a game of hide-and-seek
         all by yourself
         in a wild place
         that tickles your curiosity but also triggers
         the electric chill of the alarm hairs
         on the back of your neck
and see what comes seeking?

Let’s play pick-up sticks with lumpy sticks or tiddlywinks 
         with living winks.

Let’s collect wet marbles,
         rounded by the ten-thousand-year-old 
         riverbed rock tumbler,
         and play an old-fashioned game of ringer.
Let’s play steal-the-gold on a five acre wooded court
         in the snow...
         The gold: a crown of fallen aspen leaves
         hidden towards the top of the tallest tree.

Let’s play full-contact, cross-country, miniature golf,
         or if you are feeling mellow,
         a game of checkers:
         acorn caps vs. walnut shells
         worn like little hats on frogs and lizards...
         pieces that move on their own.

Or, let’s not.

Rather, let’s think of games we could play
         as we rest in this boulder,
         sunning ourselves like blue-bellied skinks.

Not So Ultralite


Not so Ultralite

One can cut a fraction of an ounce from their pack weight
          by sawing the handle off their toothbrush
                        and another by
          cutting the tongues out of their running shoes.
Also, do matchsticks really need to be so long?
          And how much of one’s clothing is optional?
With some wit you can whittle away pounds from your pack,
          but remember those twelve essential ounces.

You pull them from the pack before pitching your tarp,
          to cool them in a snowmelt stream.
                  Then... PHIPP!  tsssss...
                   you pry the pop top off a
                             sudsy, hoppy,
                             crisp and frothy,
                             deliciously unlite beer.

And the can when you are through?
                  Perhaps a makeshift pot to boil potable water?
                  A source of shiny aluminum for a survival fishing lure?
                  A reflective surface for signaling the rescue copter?
That can may save your life.
And may they never, ever invent
                            freeze dried,
                   backpacker beer.