Gandalf the Grey — Elan Mudrow Photography

Pacific Crest Trail, Three Fingered Jack, Oregon. July 2017

via Gandalf the Grey — Elan Mudrow Photography



This trail cannot always follow the river. In time, the river will change course due to landslides, fallen trees, earthquakes, perhaps volcanic eruption. Creeks and springs, which feed the river, will chew chunks out of rock, ground, the shell the trail is constructed upon. Trail closures are frequent. The hiker, disappointed beauty is blocked from easy reach, urges rebuilding, reconstruction. A new trail is placed down, wandering, slightly in a new direction, easier or harder, carved to track the new stretch of river…..who, like the old trail cannot always follow the river. The hiker, then, looks for means to keep the river within the same path, to hold beauty within continual grasp. Dikes, retaining walls, dams, aqueducts, and canals are built. This grasp cannot always follow the river.


(Alternative title, “Beauty and the River”)

Harry’s Ridge

Photo by Elan

It’s a part time job

She sells Pepsi and water

Overpriced, in the parking lot

“I’ve come here to run.”

I want to say, but don’t.

What would that mean?

She looks at me strangely, anyway

I’ve gotten used to that look


I walk with boots

I’ve made into slippers

No shoestrings

Pay eight dollars

At the visitor’s center

The cashier has a part time job

“I’ve come here to run.”

I want to say, but don’t

What would that mean?

“Harry’s Ridge,” I say

She tries not to look at me strangely

Places a paper bracelet

On my wrist

I feel like I have been admitted

Or committed, most likely permitted


It’s a part time job

Mt. St. Helens

Who sits next to me

Close, in a haze

Smoke from forest fires

Rubbing against our shoulders

The trail, white with ash

Still, decades after the eruption

I am in a rain desert

Here, for part of my time

“I’ve come here to run”

I want to say, but don’t

What would that mean?

The volcano tries not to look at me strangely

I’ve gotten used to that look

Spammer’s Delight

Ever look in your spam folder? I have to say that WordPress does a wonderful job diverting spam from my inbox. But, every now and then, I take a peek. The following are direct quotes, typos and all.


Spammer #1- “You know a complete lot its almost hard to argue along.”

You’re absolutely right. Don’t argue along. For that would be taking my side and I know a complete lot.


Spammer #2- “Writing manually takes a lot of time, but there is a tool for this time consuming task.”

The tool is called watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island and eating Cheetos!


Spammer #3-“I’ve got much clear idea concerning from this post”

I’m glad you’ve got much clear idea, because I’m totally confused by what you just wrote!


Spammer #4- “Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe the whole thing is available on web?”

Things are indeed strange in this technological globe. It should be a crime to make use of to read news papers. Except they actually hire “real” journalists.


Spammer #5-  “This enables that you simply much better picture of how your business is creating. We are all human beings.”

So, that’s what my business is doing, creating. And I didn’t even know I had a business. Plus, I’m glad you cleared it up that we’re all human beings. I was beginning to wonder.


Spammer #6-“ These pieces really set a standard in the indrytus.”

I am so happy I’m setting standards somewhere.  Hello to those of you in the indrytus! I won’t let you down.


Spammer #7 “Weeeee, what a quick and easy soiunlot.”

Wasn’t that cool? Soiunlots can be so tricky.


Spammer #8 “This was so helpful and easy! Do you have any articles in rehab?”

Well, unfortunately, a couple of them have checked in to rehab. I heard they were doing well.


Spammer #9“Hey hey hey, take a gardener to what’ you’ve done.”

That’s a great idea. I’ve never thought about inviting one.


Spammer #10 “That’s a posting full of ingiths!”

Is that a good thing? Where’d they come from? I didn’t put them there.


Spammer #11 “Just do me a favor and keep writing such trnhcnaet analyses, OK?”

By all means. I’m a master of trnhcnaetian theory.


Spammer #12 “If you’re looking to buy these articles, make it way easier.”

Mmmh. I’ve never thought about buying my own posts. That indeed is easier. There, I just gave myself 10 bucks. Whoo Hoo!!!


Spammer #13- “Thanks for spending time on the computer (wiritng) so others don’t have to.”

That’s why I do this. I’m here to make it so no one else has to spend time wirting on computers.


Spammer #14- “My salad has done better this summer but just in the last couple of months when the weather improved.”

I’m so happy to hear your salad is doing better.


Spammer #15- “Continue to be down the great operate! You realize, many individuals ‘re looking near to do this facts, it is easy to aid these products.”

Roger that. I will continue to be down the great operate to aid the products.


Spammer #16- “I like to party, not look arcleits up online. You made it happen.”

I’m glad I made that happen. I wouldn’t want you to resort to looking up arcleits online.


Spammer #17- “It is possible (and frequently done) to build over 200k crop armies (aka, World Wonder armies) from a six cropper.”

You’re right. I just built a few armies last week and I only had a two cropper! Whatever that is.


Spammer #18- “Why does this have to be the ONLY reliable source? Oh well, gj!”

Well, what can I say? Poetry is more reliable. That’s all you need to know.


Spammer #19- “I’m making posts about scientific explanations behind everyday appearances.”

I knew there was something scientific behind making everyday appearances.


Spammer #20 –“Stretching is discomfort.”

I’ve told my cat the very same thing! However, he doesn’t listen and keeps on stretching! He looks pretty comfortable though.

Free Jazz

Photo by Elan

There are shapes to melodies

Found in sequences

In our hands and voices.

We move them

First as children,


Matured into organic


To stretch harmony

Into a testimonial

Of the connective

And the disconnect

We kiss

To alleviate


Our songs……

Last proof

We are lovers


There are shapes to irony

In our search

Of free Jazz

We pluck

Single blades

Of wide grass

Placed between thumbs

Of insecure knuckles

Once thought

As divine


Buzz notes

A means to escape


Of melody.


Our lips 


Attempt to lose

The contours of the song

Make up a song


Our noise…

Last proof

We are lovers

Summer Dance

Champoeg State Heritage Area, Oregon. August, 2016


    We dance on wooden gym floors, where aluminum foil-covered, cardboard stars are hung above our heads by fishing wire. The dancehall, a rearranged sports facility. Basketball hoops recoiled, painted lines and circles below feet. The gym, a sacred grassland. We dance only in socks. The floor mustn’t be damaged. Piles of shoes in the hallway.

     We mimic leaves who aren’t ready to dance. At least, not in this moist heat. But, we’ll dance. There’s no doubt about that. Some of us will fall into the beauty of a meadow and others into the roughness of the streets. Perhaps, a mixture of the two. Homecomings take different angles in the air, especially when the rain returns. It’s all about where we land, while we are busy landing. For we will not know where we have landed until our toenails turn the color of autumn.

     In the air, the falling, all movements are alike. The moves are internalized, calculated swirls. The dance is a flutter of freedom, a means to escape the body, while being so much in the body. The names attached to the fall are historical. Set in place. There’s a waltz, a sugar plum fairy, a two-step. We copy them without knowledge of their existence.

     This summer, with hotness clamping down upon us, we seem torn from bran and germ. We are sifted, churning a pirouette into the soil. We look like crumbly croissants, stirred by heated air into flakes. Still we search for a meadow. We know the moves by heart.