state natural area poems #58: johnson hill kame


johnson hill is a “moulin” (French for “mill”) kame, a conical hill formed from the action of melt-water pouring into cylindrical holes inside a glacier. the swirling action of the water deposits the sediment in a stark cone on the surrounding lowlands. it’s really a strange thing. but we hiked across the field and braved the bit of forest that stretched between us and the kame (the shrub layer thinned out after a bit), and enjoyed an afternoon playing and climbing and sliding over this bizarre hill. northern and southern mesic forest set the scene. the loose rock at the foot of every tree made clear the glacial nature of the hill.

thanks to the wisconsin dnr for tending this plot.


ah, the moulin kame!

we circumambulate

the ancient whirlpool


further in the shrubs thin

and the stout hill looms above

here we find some respite


the cradling arms of sediment

welcome children’s play

goldenrod on top of the world


here at the forest’s

edge, the snow

and eagle under moon

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