Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates the written word |

Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates the written word

An Alpine glow is pictured over Rocky Mountain National Park's wintry landscape.
National Park Service/Photo/Courtesy Photo

For over 100 years, writers have been inspired by Rocky Mountain National Park’s epic beauty and stunning vistas. This 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 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) powered month, the park’s theme for the Write Out was STEAM writing. Writers were encouraged to share their observations, field notes, topics they were interested in and what inspired them while exploring the wonders of the outdoors.

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


And the next morning, I go to the woods near my home

where snow is falling, no longer from the clouds

but from the pines. Heavy clumps hitting the earth,

cratering the canvas of snow.

Everything sparkles, and branches laugh

in joy as they spring back toward the sky,

relieved of their heaviness.

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

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

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

And – look harder – tiny creatures, not fishlike or insect,

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

through the clear pure water. How lucky they are

that they have landed here, in this holiest of places

high in the mountains, land untouched by all

but the deer and the fox and a few humans

who also know how to love.

I fill my bottle with the clear creek, shed my jacket

to feel the sun. Wind in the branches, white soft

beneath my feet, I walk on through the trees

as they drop the snow and lift their arms to the sky.

Poem reprinted with permission from Rocky Mountain National Park.

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