Tuesday, December 30, 2014


                                                              ... alone on the bridge at Palisade

                                     ... snow covering my hair

                                                                                       ... a crow in the fading light

Photograph: Ted Anderson

Monday, December 29, 2014

As Dusk Descends

                                                ... as dusk descends / blackbirds in the poplar move higher

                     ... 'til at the top they cluster

                                       ... like a black star on a barren christmas tree

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Ironing Board

                              leaning into the ironing board

                              and my yellow flowered bell bottoms

                              you sang ruby ruby

                              when will you be mine

                              then ...

                              your brother died in vietnam

                              you did some time

                              I married young


                              our last back porch summer

Photograph by Mary W. Farmer

Monday, December 22, 2014

Evening in Paris

                                         ... in the toe of my stocking

                                                                                              ... a small glass bottle with silver crown

            ... my mother's deep blue dream

                                                                   ... Evening in Paris

Friday, December 19, 2014


                ... cradled between the railroad tracks and the ocean

                                                                                                      ... I sleep in time's slim measurements

                                 ... waiting on the wide arc of change

Photograph by Danielle Mourning

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Around a Water Tank

                                              ... along a cold Nebraska highway

                    ... mules gather for their portrait

                                                                  ... I snap / the windmill hums ... songs of a distant spring

The photograph is mine.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In Pale Light

                                             ...  in pale light we pore over manuscripts / notebooks
                        ... searching for the honest word / monks bent in prayer

Painting by Rembrandt

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunrise in the Sierra Nevada

                             ... sunrise in the Sierra Nevada / mist on the slopes

          ... you still sleeping, Gary Snyder?

                                                              ... come, take away this dismay / help me feed these horses

Photograph by Charles M. Phillips

Saturday, December 6, 2014


                 ... flying down Route 66 in your Pontiac Parisienne

                                                            ... Ray Charles on the radio / sunrise glinting off the wheel

Thursday, December 4, 2014

All Day Long

                         all day long the milky way rolling through infinity





As featured on Minnesota public radio KAXE:

Photograph by Roberto Bertero

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

In the Southwest Corner

                    ... in the southwest corner of the library

                                                                                           ... light falling through tall windows

                               ... I inhale the scent of old worlds / nothing else will ever do

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On a Rocky Ledge

                 ... on a rocky ledge above the river

                                                                            ... lightning shatters black sky

                            ... I awake to your voice ... a poem bittersweet                                                                                                        
                                                                                                         .......... we drift into morning

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wrong Turn

                                          ... a wrong turn down a forest road
 on an unfamiliar night

                   ... until the lights of some small town

                                                                       ... lost like me / at the edge of a long ago summer 

The photograph is mine.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nothing Left

                       ... nothing left between us / but these few million stars

Photograph by Bob King

Friday, November 21, 2014

Morning Climbs



Monday, November 17, 2014

The Red Canoe

                                        surrendering to snowfall

                                        I put away my garden tools

                                       walking towards his shed / the neighbor                                  

                                       a red canoe balanced on his head

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


                                                   the sandals I left
                                                   in the backseat of your car ...

                                                   why can't I let go

Photograph: Gabriela Tulian

Monday, November 10, 2014

In the Mist

                                     ... at the elbow of the river

                                                                                   ... swans rise in the mist 

                                                   ... time widens

Photo: Andrew Ross

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Across the Frozen River

                                                                ... across the frozen river

                                 ... coyotes summon the moon

                                                                                        ... under the porch light the dog listens

Painting by Katherine Bowling

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two Ruffed Grouse

                           ... two ruffed grouse lived in my meadow

                                                                                               ... all that's left ... pieces of their wings

             ... I kneel beside them

                                                    ... that's too many / too many broken things

Image by John Audubon

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Morning

                                          this morning

                                          I remembered your voice and

                                          for a while was lost

The photograph is mine.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

You Call To Tell Me

                                                              ... you call to tell me 

                       ... the peach tree has split in half

                                                                                            ... deer have eaten the ripened fruit
                                             ... this distance between us

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Road to Green Lake

                                         ... the road to green lake

                ... the curve the rock

                                                                                  ... where you carved our names sadness sits

                                  ... a hard unmovable stone

Friday, October 10, 2014

Family Farm

                                                        another fall

                                                        we sleep in an upstairs bedroom

                                                        on  your family's abandoned farm

                                                        your uncle's car in the driveway

                                                        bringing chili, cornbread, and gin

Photograph by Sandra Cunningham

Thursday, October 9, 2014


                                        ... autumn

                            ... inside the deer's skull

                                             ... a bird's empty nest


Painting by Andrea Kowch

Friday, October 3, 2014

Scavenging Summer

                                                                          ... haying done
                                            ... crows in the field
                                                                                           ... scavenging summer

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The World In a Turtle Shell

                         ... as leaves push against the screen door

                                                                                         ... my Lakota grandmother appears

           ... it's yours now she says

                                                     ... hands me the world in a turtle shell

My reading of this poem on public radio:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Floating Above Eight Strings

                       String Theory:

                              ... two a.m. / playing that song on the mandolin (even the word a cliche)

                       ... floating above eight strings ... begging for solid ground    

Painting by Alexander Volkov

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sounds I'd Miss

                                              ... sounds the world could do without but I'd miss them:

                          ... kitchen radio playing low 

                                                                                               ... a phone ringing at the end of a hall

                                                     ... tires in the driveway

Monday, September 15, 2014

Van Gogh Eyes

               ... december nineteen hundred and ninety six

                                                                            ... he sits on the kitchen counter

                                 ... van gogh eyes / beard the color of autumn

                                                                                               ... pours me another glass of rosanne cash

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sifting Through the Ruins

                 ... sifting through the ruins / mapping sunlight through the trees

The photograph is mine.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

On the Top Step

                                       ... on the top step of the fire tower we carve our initials

                  ... our last day in the red canoe

Friday, September 5, 2014

White Sheer Curtains

                                                           ... hearts seared by white sheer curtains

                               ... the honeyed light of summer's end


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Autumn Arrives

                        ... with a flask of whiskey autumn arrives 

                                                                           ... suitcase full of damp leaves / late falling apples

                                     ... Great Aunt Stella ... drunk on sunlight

The photograph is mine.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Afternoon Nap

                                     ... September in the mountains / the shadow of butterfly wings   


Photograph by Jeff Barron

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Carved From Stone

                     ... when weapons were carved from stone ... every death tinged with obsidian

The photograph is mine.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Balcony

           ... on a late night balcony ... you trace the great bear above us

                          ... and I the small spiderweb tattooed on your back ... my unchanging constellations

Painting by Joan Miro, "Constellation: Before the Rainbow"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


                          ... riverplace / by the window

                                                                              ... you with an amber ale / me with my constant fear

 ... will you swallow me whole

                                           ... or in bits and pieces ....... til I disappear

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Empty Bed

                        ... two a.m. / shadows on the road /... full moon on an empty bed 



Saturday, August 16, 2014


                                                         ... snowfield in the high uintas

             ... where blue meets white / cold words

                                                                                                        ... we cross the great divide in silence

Monday, August 11, 2014

Over the Next Rise

                                                   the days long / our attention spans short
                                                   we walked in the woods my sister and I 

                                                   searching for the perfect place to build a fort

                                                   a little further down the path ...

                                                   in that grove of sunlit trees

                                                   just over the next rise

Painting, "Path Through Woods,"" by Dorothy Kunemunde: http://kunemund-paintings.com/

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Washtub Summers

                                               ... filled with water from the well metal washtubs on green grass
           ... we screamed because we could

                                  ... hand me down bathing suits billowing with summer

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rumble Strips

                                      ... windows open to the night / tree frogs calling for mates

       ... I drift in and out of sleep

                                                           ... out on the highway a truck crosses over the rumble strips

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Pitcher of Rainwater

                                                                   ... at the end of the path a crescent moon
                               ... a pitcher of rainwater

                                                           ... blue stars in a tin pan

Image by Alphonse Mucha  (1860 - 1939)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Winter Dream #8

                        winter dream #8:

                                                     ... blackberry brambles

                           ... a lock of hair on barbed wire

                                                                ... in the snow along the fence line my footprints disappear

My reading of this poem on public radio KAXE:

Painting, "Through the Snow," by Dan Schultz

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Brown Buick

                                   ... at the lake / summer of fifty nine

                                                                                        ... mother snapping beans with Aunt Lorna
            ... lying in the sand next to her brown Buick / the perfect arrowhead

                                                ........ my sister saw it first                                             

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

At Prout's Neck

                                          ... standing on rocks at Prout's Neck

          ... we watch the long horizon 

                                                                                   .............. the shape our lives are meant to take

Watercolor by Winslow Homer

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wild Geese

                           ... wild geese circle the field gathering stragglers

                                             ... the old man stands at the mailbox / wondering where everyone went

Monday, July 21, 2014


                        ... running from my bare cupboard life I drive through the wide Nebraska night 

        pull off the highway to cry ...

                                                     on the radio ... Mr. Bojangles in worn out shoes

Photograph by Paul Vlachos

Friday, July 18, 2014


                       ... surrender ~ the soft unfolding of wings

Photograph: Kathleen Wilke