Thursday, October 27, 2011

the morning of a stationary front

pop. pop. pop. after the third frost
western larch is taking a stand
on Chief Joseph Mountain - pop.
pop. pop. – too chill, too still for
the legendary thunder to go rolling
over it, but the landscape knows
the old, cold story. pop. pop. pop.
and deer and elk listen hard before
making the first crackling step
back into the brush. pop. pop. pop.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

baking garlic without a chuckwagon

Here, it's not like they tell you
in the tee-vee Westerns. Here,
there's actually a way to turn
the campfire to 450 degrees.
And here, there's no need
to chase the dust and flies
from the herd from your kitchen.
Not that herd, anyway. And
Ol' Cookie never had self-
sharpening knives or dispose-
all sinks. Still, today we rarely
have the opportunity for protein
in the biscuits - not without
a school science project, anyway.
Out on the trail, refrigeration
amounts to a wet bag hanging out
on a frosty night. "We could do that
here. But why?" Turn on the stove.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

lower valley (half sonnet for contrasts)

we're not known for consistency here:
there's a fancy gate on a rasty fence
a bright plastic play gym fronting
a worn and flaky Victorian (note
the lead paint) and parked there, one
marvelously worn station wagon
next to a scarab-painted show car

who needs consistency, anyway?

Monday, October 24, 2011

riding the pony through the labyrinth

which way shall I go, which way shall
I go? pull a flip coin from your pocket.

now: at the next crossroads by moonlight
turn a bit, look left, then right, then 

left again. set your pony’s tail light a-
blinking, put your spurs on cruise-

control, and tell your friends, kindly,
what way you love ‘em or don't.  

now, you get to choose to whoa, 
to drop the reins, or take the keys.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

sonnet for sustainability

a theory of surprise may turn success -
let alone competition - on its head.
so let's start. before all that, there's
the if/then. and if you're lucky and fail
grandly, perhaps the gift is in discovery
of the so what and the then what? smart
money talks - but you don't have to hear.

and maybe - just - complacency will take

some rich mud in the face, and from it
will sprout things you never saw before.
if the purpose of experiment, though, is
some desired result, you may get lucky
and discover the one watched pot that
actually never boils, and all goes awry.

or is that tweak of expectation the very

gift we seek? o surprise, and o peace.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

wildlife superhighway

hard-hoofed, somebody stamped this spot
too “comfortable for a bed down," right
where the trail runs down to the creek.

signs of deer and fox are everywhere present
along the decline of the old waterway --
the one shoved west by high water and thaw.

and everywhere: grasses, weeds, grasses,
weeds; pawprints, and the holes in
the greenscape left by a sloppily 

bounding whitetail.
  one more time,
look around this unlonesome place.
it is a streaming wildlife superhighway.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

half sonnet for sunshine

the first shiny day after the first snow,
a friendly old guy stands on the corner -
waving to the men in rusty farm trucks
rattling down through the town. and! there's
a lady in a shiny pick-up truck, so politely, he
tips his cap, and leans on his cane in the sun
toward fresh bacon and eggs, just next door.

listening to drowsy maggie

flat flat sharp flat - the strings jingle
the obscure tune flutters through
high tech speakers. computer mediated
folk music rocks the house of the
lone ranger. there's a blanket on
the work chair and hot green tea
on the desk. better living through
electronics or maybe just simplicity.