I'm starting off the sharing with a sestina I wrote during the trip, which proved to be more enjoyable than challenging. I hope you enjoy it, and please don't be shy to share as well.
Like smooth syrup we float
Down Chitina’s glinting face.
Underneath our raft slides heavy silt
Remnant of glacier shadow
Rocks for rattles, she hisses like snakes
While into porphyry rock she carves.
Sun kissed skin, matted hair, in waves we carve
Oars for chisels, our work fades as we float
Our paper legacy lost in the thin grey snake.
Head on into boils we face
The waves, and shiver in clouds’ shadow
All this to run our fingers through glacial silt.
Next morn, cowboy coffee is thick as silt
In camp where rivers’ confluence carves
A land of fleeting shadows.
Upon the breeze the hornet floats
Thin-skinned creatures flee his face
His bite as fierce as any snake.
Afternoon, down slanted bluffs gullies snake
Give the river an offering of silt.
Ash trees write on hillside face
With callous mining roots they carve.
Only the dead break loose and float
To drift beyond Fireweed’s shadow.
Long before seeing jetliner’s shadow
Where tar and gravel rivers snake
Years ago copper would float
On iron beasts that spewed black silt.
In granite heavy tracks would carve
But then decay on canyon’s face.
Long after midnight sun forgets my face
One day when sinks my shadow
Into earth where rivers carve
Sun still will shine on the golden snake
Who carries down her silver silt.
In Chitina, my own silt will float.