Summer 2017

Wild mood swings

Calm.

We soothe our wounds,

Reconstruct,

Find the kind story.

Though words

Linger.

We begin a new

Autumn memory

 

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Earthscape — Elan Mudrow Photography

Oregon Garden, September 2017

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Olympic Peninsula Beach–How To Miss A Highway

To get to the beach, we hike

Through the smell of pine

So thick, we can taste it.

The trail is carpeted with needles–

We think we’re the first humans

To arrive on a new planet.

Trees older than Columbus

With golden brown skin, black bark, tar

Pillars of a wild palace.

The sound of Highway 101

Fades behind us, reminds us

Where we came from

Aberdeen, Long Beach, Astoria

The cozy rainfall of Portland

 

 

Then it stretches before us

That untamed beach,

Ocean, greyed-out by sky reflection.

Sand, a mess, tossed, turned.

The raw shore, green, dense

Mangled, perfect.

The wind, never ceases

If it did, it would be Armageddon

Heaven, or science fiction

Which are the same things

As far as the peninsula is concerned

 

We have our backpacks on.

Nylon and aluminum, easily bent and torn.

The infrastructure.

Yet, they hold freeze-dried ice cream

Dried pad thai with tofu

Foam pads, a pipe and a little stash

The bare essentials.

At night, we tie our packs to tree limbs,

in case of tofu eating bears

Stoner cougars, sweet tooth coyotes

A wildlife piñata

 

The rain hit

This is no Portland sprinkle

This is a northern coastal drenching.

We set up the tarps, plastic sheets

With nylon rope, rocks as anchors

Tucked ourselves in, wedged against wind

Until the morning arrives

As grey as the ocean

Our supplies gone, the tree limb too

Our backpacks found strewn

In the shrubs

 

My car keys, safely in my pocket

jab my leg.

We listen for the highway.

 

Peaceful Shit

Backyard Fountain

The doors are open

Yet, it’s silent

I should hear children…

The ones of the neighborhood

Screaming at play

Or the voice of Mr. Rush

In his backyard

Talking on his cell

About installing water pumps.

Where’s the lawn mowers

The Leaf blowers

And the loud men who mind them?

What’s up with the street man

Digging for bottles in the recycling bin?

Is he taking the day off?

Spanky the spaniel should be barking.

Mr. Fry should be meowing

rubbing my leg for food.

Where’s my neighbor

The chronic door slammer at?

I swear there’s an art to the door slam.

What about those two who argue

Over their fences

While trading tomatoes and beats?

And that incessant car alarm

That nobody seems to know

How to turn off? Where’s it at?

What happened to the occasional drunk

Searching for his girlfriend

From the bar a block away?

Has he missed his cue?

 

What’s this peaceful shit doing here?

 

Oh, there’s Spanky’s bark

And the start of a new argument.

Tomatoes are doing good this year.

Beats? Not so good.

Just when I thought things were getting good.

 

 

Good shit never lasts long

Adolescent Tongue

Photo of the Eagle Creek Fire provided by Oregon Live

Haze is in our voice,

Wraps the air in orange

Our mouths taste of ash

From heat and dryness

Encircling our throats

We speak through filters

We become speechless

 

 Our voice is smoke

As the sun turns colors

A Pumpkin glow, fluttering

Our talk is like cinders

Composed of dark cumulus

Layers bound inside bark

Released…we become confused

 

We seek the onshore flow

The lucid linear spoken spell

That quells our child tongue

Who claims immortality

Even if just for a second.

To deny the child

That sparks within us…for

It is us who light the dark.

The moth is eaten by flame….gone