Meditations on the California North Coast

By Eliott Coyle

For one day it rained
curtains and sheets,
permeating the hillside.
Effortless it came,
effortless it changed.
Roads eroded,
soil moved to mud
and took trees with it.

Water is soft
until everything
becomes likewise.

That evening
I ran the faucet,
filled my cup,
and drank from the sky.

Beneath soil
sustenance, fertility.
On the surface,
hardness
of stone and wood.

When the rain settles,
I go out into the forest,
hoping to find
what I’m looking for.

A grove of redwood,
an organic sky-rise.
I always climb them barefoot.
They are the changing of perception.

When the sun sets
in the mountains,
I throw pine needles
in the fire.

This digestive force
transforms trees to ash,
water to steam.
It is alchemy and magic,
unseen, a streaming of gases.

In the blue black sky,
a white moon,
and a dying fire.
I watch the coal bed glow.
It was once wood.

On the coast
the next morning,
the wind whips waves.
Like the intellect,
it is changing.

I stand on the edge
of tide pools,
watching circling gulls
ride the thermal up-drafts.

A kite flies
in the same gust
that will go on
to pollinate plants.

Rarely known,
it is the carrier
of chi, breath, spirit.

I hear it
in the leaves
of eucalyptus.


Eliott Coyle obtained his M.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing from California State University, Chico in 2017. He enjoys reading and writing poetry about the natural world, familial and world history, and the wisdom of Eastern philosophy. Eli is currently entertaining the idea of living and teaching abroad somewhere in Southeast Asia where he’ll be able to travel, write about, and explore the world’s natural landscapes. He has served as an editor for the CSU, Chico literary magazine Watershed Review and is now starting to branch out and submit his own work for publication within the endless academic and literary communities.

2018-05-07T20:37:39+00:00