Sean Prentiss is author of Finding Abbey: a Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave. Finding Abbey won the National Outdoor Book Award and the Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona Book Awards. He is co-author of Environmental and Nature Writing: A Craft Guide and Anthology. Visit his website at




Sean Prentiss



December 2016

The world is always and forever too pretty—

The still of the cove on the peaceful edge

Of autumn’s dawn, silence a heavy blanket.


It’s the wisp and curl and ethereal meander

Of the lake shedding away it’s summer

Warmth as a fog that then dances.


The way the kayak is engulfed by morning,

By fog, by silence, by the soft light of a future

Sun, as if it’s more breeze than boat.


Woodbury Mountain is halved by a soon

To burn off cloud, but this dawn, it is mostly

Mystery up upon that cleave of rock and tree.


The first of the water lilies, those fragrant

White floating blossoms, like supernovas,

The leaves fade yellow, whispering, Autumn.


It’s the beaver swimming around the kayak,

Hunting winter food, sniffing the air of me,

That tail slap, the only noise of morning.


This morning is the same as every morning.

This morning is nothing

If it is not only a blessing.

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