Friday, November 25, 2016

In the Soft Woods


                                                         snow
                                                         falls
                                                         on
                                                         the
                                                         slow
                                                         moving
                                                         river


                                                         in
                                                         the
                                                         soft
                                                         woods
                                                         a
                                                         mourning
                                                         dove





The photograph is mine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Your Hat


                                                    ... somewhere between Fargo and Sioux City

                            ... you ask me if I like your hat / I can't say no

                                                                                   ... your Mozart eyes ... your sad smile




Photograph by Gilen Linn

Saturday, October 29, 2016

By the Lilacs


                                   ... behind the Carnegie Library / you took my picture by the lilacs

                   ... I was wearing your chambray shirt


                                                                          ... it was spring ... I thought I loved you



Photograph by Poppy Barach

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Great Divide


                                            ... in cutoffs and indian cotton I stand on the great divide

                       ... the summer before the legend 

                                                          ... before I knew the secret / the famous lie



Photograph by Gilen Linn

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Marigolds


                                                     ... immersed in autumn / I walk around my yard  

                                 ... mushrooms
                                                                           ... maples
                                                                                                           ... the marigolds last breath



Photograph Pam Ullman

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Blackjack


                                                    ... fourteen years old

                         ... the cabin on birch lake
                   
                                                                             ... playing blackjack for kisses



Photograph by Harry Finch

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Baskets Return to the Grass


                                               ... baskets return to the grass / pots become sherds

                           ... still, we walk through meadows

                                                                    ... gather white clay along the creek

                                                                          


Image: Claire Basler

Monday, September 5, 2016

Climbing the Great Wall


                                              last night


                                              a black bear

                                              ran

                                              through the roses


                                              again, I was a Tibetan boy

                                              climbing

                                              the Great Wall

                  



Monday, August 8, 2016

As I Drive

                                               ... as I drive I remember

                                                                                            ... on the key ring you made for me

                                   ... a silver bear claw

                                                             ... a lock of buffalo hair / softly brushing my knee




Friday, August 5, 2016

When I Was Young


                                              ... when I was young a vast plain of days lay before me

                      ... corrections could be made

                                                                                                now ...  there's a path in the woods

                                                            ... the sound of the river





Painting by James McLaughlin Way

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Week Before Fifth Grade

                                 ... a week before fifth grade my horse said enough is enough

              ... and threw me off 

                                     ... my arm in a cast / mother sat at the foot of my bed ... sang away the pain





Photograph by Julian Mofteescu

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In Dreams


                                             ... you're gone ... but we watch for each other in dreams                                                         
                                ... in the lobby of the hotel

                                                            ... you turn to me and say ....... there you are




Image by Mara Light

Monday, May 30, 2016

Years Later

                                                ... years later / long after the fire was quenched

                                      ... the small town theater of my childhood stands in charred silence

                                                               ... Tootsie still on the marquee



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On a Montana Backroad


                                            ... on a Montana backroad a black bear scratches his name

                         ... along the riverbank ..... wild iris




Image: Kath Williamson

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Phone Rings


                                          ... the phone rings

                                                                    ... but this stone on my chest won't let me answer

                            ... I sit quietly / watch a sparrow build her nest above my door




Image: Pier Toffoletti

Monday, April 18, 2016

Just This Morning

                                                                  just this morning

                           ... during my nap beneath
 my living room window ...

                                                                                      I was thinking
 the very same thing



Saturday, April 16, 2016

What the World Already Knows


               ... where river road meets the highway two swans appear in the soft grey morning light

 ... follow my car down to the bridge ... then return to the river

                        ... sometimes our minds need to catch up to what the world already knows



Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Way You Kissed Me


                                               ... the way you kissed me when we hadn't seen each other in years 

                      ... how ... in my hesitation you said

                                                                         ... I think we've waited long enough




Photograph: GK Hart / Vikki Hart

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Looking Out the Window


                         ... looking out the window of this motel room / listening to you sing in the shower

     ... knowing we can never tell our story




Image by Loui Jover

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Letters


                                  ... in my mother's shaking hand / in a metal box with hinged lid

                                                              ... one hundred fifteen letters



Sunday, February 7, 2016

This Land I Walk

                                                 ... this land I walk 

             ... my respite ... and my sorrow

                                                                   ... beneath the sun bright pine // tiny rib bones
                                                                     


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Out of the Grey

                                                           ... seeking answers I step outside

                                        ... out of the grey / five swans ... one / then four alone
 


Written with Cletis L Stump

Thursday, January 7, 2016

On Desolation Peak

                                                   ... on Desolation Peak

                 ... in a lookout above the treeline

                                                                       ... the caw of a crow  / the clack of the typewriter

            

Photograph by David Pluth

Saturday, December 26, 2015

After the Storm

 

                                       ... after the storm ... pine boughs bend beneath the weight of winter

                   ... ruffed grouse rest in blue silence




Photograph by Montucky: montucky.wordpress.com/

Saturday, December 12, 2015

In My Seventh Summer

                         ... in my seventh summer ... barefoot at the well / I kneel

                                      ... between the boards /... a tiny spot of sunlight on the water far below





Friday, December 11, 2015

On Pine Mountain


                                               as my father hunts grouse

                                               I explore the cabin
                            

                                               lying on the bunk

                                               standing at the woodstove


                                               trying out my future self         




Photograph by raphasantos

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In the Buffalo's Eye


                                             ... in the buffalo's eye

                                                                                    ... all my memories / all our earthly history

            ... the planet earth itself

                                                     ... rolling through dark and infinite space




The photograph is mine, taken in South Dakota.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Bohemians


                      ... early courtship / early marriage ... early everything

                                                                ... including this solo life I've settled into ... my dog / the deer

         ... and these Bohemian Waxwings who came to spend the afternoon with me

                                        ... eating berries / spitting seeds ... acting cool in their slicked-back hair




Photograph by Natalia Paklina and Chris van Orden          

Friday, December 4, 2015

In the Woods at Dawn

                                                                          in the woods at dawn

                                                                          a hoot owl calls ...

                                                                          the soft grey sound of loss






Photograph by Hans Bertrand

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Things We Leave Behind


                                   do you remember the day we left the lodge

                                   walked into the woods

                                   your family still around the table

                                   noisily remembering all they could get their hands on


                                   how we made love in the snow

                                   my back against the tree / you leaning into me

                                   so often they are the same 

                                   the things we leave behind / the things we carry