Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Umpqua Barques

by Richard Hartwell

Ponderous lines, unwieldy, graceless, and abnormal,
yet possessed of elements of durability and staidness;
these were the houseboats on the lower Umpqua River,
homes to generations of families of stationary river folk;
eyesores, lost value, and potential hazards to those whose
vested interests lay with eradicating the “estuary squatters.”

At night myriad beams peek from many windows,
shining like eyes focused on the bouncing Umpqua,
the contrast with the brooding valley mountains and
darkened feathered forest becomes the majestic milieu
to jubilant, shattered splinters of light, and the aberrant
barques become glorious by conjurers’ tricks of deflection.

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