for 3 Word Wednesday
At the Tokeland Hotel
an obscure photograph
of a forgotten winter storm
hangs over the silent piano.
The storm is forgotten
but the waitress remembers
the fishing boats
that didn't return,
and the silent breakfast.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
for Poetry Thursday
In the last days before publication,
bona fide bards run their poems
down the street before cheering
crowds of reverent readers. Daredevil
poets run in front for a moment
of glory, always a few daredevils
are injured, and some gravely. The bona fide
are taunted to a frenzy by guidelines,
they submit to the publisher where most
are stabbed in the heart by the editor.
The reverent celebrate with fireworks
and parades. A small group
of sensitive writers protest
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
for Sunday Scribblings
Doug looks across a brown field
where a couple dozen gulls sit
on the plow waiting for it to turn
grubs and worms, the field looks dryer
than before, life is sucked out
of the soil, sucked out
of the few head of cattle left,
out of what's left of a family.
Doug has black vulture dreams
where he can't keep up,
can't get out of the way,
where he wakes with foul despair.
In the kitchen he watches the sun
stab another bare knuckle sky.
Doug can't hurry bad luck,
he has to wait it out. Doug starts
the tractor and drives out
to hitch up the gulls.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
for 3 Word Wednesday
From across a mudflat, a plover's whistle
pulls open a thought zipper, in the corridors
of my thinker I find a lingering memory:
on a fog-gray morning warmth leaves
with the subtlety of a garbage truck.
A memory within a memory pulls
through my chest like a knotted rope,
like puddles on the mudflat I find
low places to wait for next tide,
and the girl in the moon.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
an old poet
hears a frog
an old frog
an old pond –
of a poet splashing
an old pond
waits for splashing
an old bucket –
a frog jumps in
a frog jumps out
an old frog –
of poetic croaks
poets and ponds
and a splash
of the frog in the moon
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Shadows flit to a tree’s backside,
flitting yellow to a branch, yellows flit
across the path. What was that?
A long series of high twinkling trills
from the dark corners of underbrush.
Something is soaring, just over the ridge.
On the trunk it’s dark, black with white
marks, red on the head, white line
on its face, like a woodpecker,
get out the book.
In the willows a liquid chirp,
like drips from a water spout.
Something moving in the grass,
that kraaa sounds like a tern,
something yellow in the cattails,
something calling harsh, like a corvid,
something, what was that?
On the water something just went down,
big enough for a loon,
toward the pilings.
What was that? Did you hear that?
I think it was low.
Cinnamon Teal in the weeds, left of the Heron,
Waxwing in the tree, two of them, and a Goldfinch.
Left of the path, a flycatcher hawking for insects,
swallow wheeling to the right,
vest on the flycatcher,
rolling and rising flutelike notes,
yellows flit across the path,
what was that?
Watch for a flying bug,
a target riding the wind,
gauge the speed and bearing,
converge like a wide receiver tracking
a Hail Mary pass, a net minder trapping
a slap shot, a shortstop snagging a line drive
and swallowing the ball in a gaping glove,
a fishmonger catching a flying salmon.
Think a victory lap and get back
in the crease, on the branch,
to the line of scrimmage,
and watch for a flying bug, a target.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
(not elsewhere classified)
over new snow
new year’s eve
for old rock
peck car grills
in a battle of wits
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
This otter-green shirt is built
rugged to protect miners from rock
shards, protect loggers from devils club,
protect birdwatchers from the biting,
stabbing insects that escape
bird-lunch, to protect image.
This otter-green is built strong
to outlast an I-didn't-think-
hike, autumn weather, a relationship
that's going nowhere, memory.
This strong, rugged otter-green
is diminished by a paltry beach-fly
hopping back and forth. Go away.
Monday, August 13, 2007
(Not Elsewhere Classified)
with the moon
of the marsh
tules shout water
moss says damp
from cattail marsh
heron in field
seed head nods
on brown stem
sings in forest
on and on
Saturday, August 11, 2007
for Sunday Scribblings
The growling fades, the water level
drops, the ground stops shaking,
dust clears from the iron sky.
Survivors reassure the other,
it could be worse. I lost a tractor
and three goats, I'm thankful to be alive,
put my name on a list,
have you seen my wife? The lady
at the folding table checks
for names on a list. I'm relieved
the kids are all safe, I only lost
the house, it can be replaced,
put three names on a list,
and the lady at the folding table
puts three names on a list.
They're the reassured, but not the woman
swept downstream, she has time
only to be afraid, firefighters
lost in obsidian smoke don't feel lucky,
and the jade corpse dug out
three days later isn't grateful
that the wind stops blowing
when the lady at the folding table
takes her name off a list.
Friday, August 10, 2007
for Ringing of the Bards
Let's walk a Point Defiance trail
and I'll propose that a rock's a tree.
We'll consider the layered connections
between the branches and the roots,
we'll talk to birds that perch
on trees, birds that perch on rocks
and birds that perch in shadows,
we'll compare leaves to feathers,
rockery to barkery, we'll trace back
to a rock's ancestral home.
At the second bench we'll sit
under a red cedar with our feet
propped on a granite boulder and listen
to a swainson thrush's rambling talk
until we know the nature of treeliness,
and the nature of rockiness,
and then I'll propose
that a rock is god.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
for Ringing of the Bards
The black cat pretends the night spirits
are for his entertainment. Peregrine pretends
that shorebird clouds are divine provisions
bestowed by a mystical being that resembles
an ancient peregrine. Octopus pretends
his adapting design is inspired creation.
At my final hermitage I pretend
faith in primitive myth for a hot meal
and a bed away from weather.
What we believe is that we've got
to make do with what we have,
even when it's fantasy.
In the supernatural realm the spirits
play with the black cat and pretend
the party will never end.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The cat doesn't need much door to get in,
he slips by when I go out
to the morning's slant light.
I walk the road down to a thin layer
of ground fog draped over Foster Meadow.
A bird lands in the grass, I don't know
the voice so I move up, the bird moves back,
I move up again and he moves back,
we play this inchworm dance until he wearies
and flies off to the far hedgerow,
and finds a perch past a barbwire fence.
I take the Sand River trail,
a dark-hair woman is already on the path,
she says, "My name is Kate." We crunch the gravel,
listen to bullfrogs and a wren,
I talk about computers and Thai food,
she talks about metaphysics and soccer.
The trail splits and she follows the river
downstream, I turn back to my hut,
I go in and the cat slips out,
he doesn't need much door.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
for one deep breath
Yin and Yang
evening turns the city
to a river of stars
the sun sets
in a golden flurry
the river keeps flowing
evening dims the light
and wakes the big eyes
bring snow –
colors turn cold
twilight reveals a door
beyond the human realm
my head hurts
where's the evening
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Speechers enwrapped in ribbons and banners,
gnash teeth, beat drums, and dance through trees,
resanctifying ancient memorials and statues
on humid summer days with buzzing mosquitoes.
Black smoke bending through trees,
a guy with a frog in his pocket,
new signs marking a crumbling road
on cold winter days, in quiet obscurity.
Night feeders in moonlit gardens
watch for changes, for low hanging fruit,
and low hanging branches,
in quiet obscurity.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
In Fleet Park the sidewalk curves
around the old tree where talkers
and traders meet like their fathers'
fathers did a hundred years ago.
They sit back on park benches
properly arranged for an oil on canvas,
traders agree to hot deals, the talkers
disagree on everything else.
The heat fades with the sunlight,
the talkers and traders make way
for the socializers, the 6-packers,
the warm friends and torrid lovers
who slow dance over the roots,
swing on branches, trace names
in the bark, who sit back
on park benches properly arranged
for a talk in the dark. The old tree
comes down and it's cut to firewood,
it'll heat the stove for a winter,
and the sidewalk curves around.