Climax Forest, Glacier Bay

From here all growth can only be backward.
The land has reached its climax, where
the height of plant progression is here.
It’s forest, hemlock and spruce.
Should axes pass this way or the scour
of fire and flood, then where trees fall
they would not regenerate, but fail.
To start over is to go back; to saxifrage,
to heather, to fern, to berry and to alder.
But for now it is forest. The trees
will stand in the quiet pause of their reaching the
farthest point. Living out the patter without passion:
growing, replenishing, culling and falling.
The pattern of finality.


Travis Stephens earned a degree at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. A sea captain, he now resides with his family in California. Recent credits include: STONEBOAT REVIEW, CROSSWINDS POETRY JOURNAL, SOUTHWORD, HAVIK, APEIRON REVIEW, THE FINGER, NIGHT PICNIC JOURNAL, PENNSYLVANIA ENGLISH and GRAVITAS POETRY. Online his was a Poem of the Week for Silver Needle Press and poems have appeared in INK & VOICES, RUE SCRIBE, SHEILA-NA-GIG, OPEN: JOURNAL OF ARTS & LETTERS, THE SCRIBLERUS ARTS JOURNAL, HCE REVIEW and DEAD MULE SCHOOL OF SOUTHERN LITERATURE.