Saturday, December 24, 2011

the Constitution of the County

all it takes is an opinion
in the coffee shop to
tilt the world.

try it for yourself!
fill up on caffeine and
fresh-baked hubris.

if you get an argument,
you win. if you get
silence, you win.

check the rules:
coffee shops and rabid 

letters to the editor propose -

bad tips and irritated silence
dispose. (and everyone's
in the local judiciary.)

my county 'tis of thee: we'll
always have big talk,
hot coffee, and poor tips.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


cracked corn
empty shells
junco tracks

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

speak easy or not

so you’re on your soap box and I’m on mine
and sometimes we agree. meanwhile,
the fate of the world seems to hang
on the contents of our discussions. thank-
you, nonphosphate detergent containers,
for your support. and when we step down,
triumphant over I’m-not-sure-what, I predict
yet more fighting in the newspaper, some
made up stuff, and a general lack of
peace on earth. nothing new to see, carry on.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

herdsmanship by Mythos

Loki knows: Goats are not "little cows"
and sheep should not be
in the same sentence
as goats. They dine differently.

Think of goats as Olympian
first cousins to deer -
with the fastest metabolism of
any ruminant under the sun. Godlike.

Just ask Apollo – he says he sees them
snacking all day
on the choicest weeds and leaves –
all over the territory.

Hera, that domestic goddess,
in her second career
as a personal trainer, recommends
roughage and low protein, nothing too hot.

Despite what any satyr will tell you,
too much grain
will not produce an Olympian,
nor a satisfying sex life, nor good kidding.

Just ask Thor, who goat-powers
his entire chariot -
then parks by a campfire
somewhere, and eats them for dinner.

But the next day, there they are,
back carting him around.
Still, you'll need to ask Zeus and Athena
for the rules of water-into-wine herdsmanship.

How it is he gets them to regenerate like that
is a puzzle only Minerva knows. 

But on Olympus, the first rule
of intelligent herding is ... keep all the bones. related article.

Monday, December 19, 2011


some of the grain hits the frozen ground
and bounces, like you’d expect from live
things milled for the exclusive use of
other live things. the sound of protein
on dirt and fiber of floor is a variation
never heard two thousand years ago,
when the sound of seeds sliding in
the midden and the bounce of a bone
on the rock shelter floor were softened
by the hiss of fire or the slough of sand.
the livestock shuffles in on grass-worn
feet, and next door, a vacuum sucks
what could become your heritage dinner,
locavore, if too much goes too wrong.
for now, let the grain rattle in the pan
and let the ice blue sky check it all out.
take a deep breath and think about
winter. we’ll see how this all plays out.
let some of the grain hit the frozen ground.

cold gravel

it’s that time when snow sticks-to-gravel
sticks-to-warmed sole coverings on
each foot and we gingerly heel-and-
toe it to the truck. years later, all
the gravel falls off as the heater keeps
blowing the winter blues, and the wheels
recall criss-crossing the Blues on black ice

Sunday, December 18, 2011

we ask your inattention...

we ask your inattention
for the river that runs
so silently under
the Minam ice.
if you're not listening,
here is how it works.
we all stack up under
the bridge, take
a deep breath and...
hold your nose: we
plunge face first
as we slide down
the right-angle gradient,
seeking the final level
(you know how it goes).
pay no attention, you
fishermen and ghosts
and hobos and bigger
rivers and the sea: we
are coming, if you're
watching or if you're not.