Scattered Town

One can hear the electrical wires in the rain near the scattered towns.

Your voice is still under those lines, in one town or another, poking around old man bars.

You wanted to see where the forest ditched the highway, where the grid no longer gripped feral ferns and moss.

We picnicked next to the river, sandwiches and wine. The rain had stopped, left to playing only with leaves.

You were scared of the forest, its sounds. The very thing you thought you protected.

I never told you, the road is hidden on the other side underneath the trees, behind the wild rhododendron.

Traffic is far and few between, a crawl, especially after winter’s scarring of pavement.


I can see you, running for the parking lot, back to the towns, the wires, fear in your eyes.


Sometimes, to be honest, I wish I could be as scared as you.



Above Multnomah Falls

This warm winter makes the creek scream like spring.

I dip my hand in, as far in as my long sleeves let me

Smooth stones, slick, cold life, years in my hands.

My fragile blood beats, knows the water by heart.


It’s good to be wary of the speed of the current

where it licks up upon the shore, sure feet are never a given.

It can bite you, gently, or with unforgiving teeth.

Its noise covers all voices, who’ve come beyond the falls


I head for snow level, it’s high for this time of the year.

Pine needles dot its surface like a mild sprinkling of spice.

Towhees, ravens, and buntings call with haunting songs

An echo between their voices, moves with the forest, downhill.


There, below, near the river and I-84, the creek is a maiden jumping.

Thousands of selfies, one tripod, a few point and shoots

attempt to catch her in the act of hitting the ground.

She refuses to pose.







  1. Starbucks banana nut bread
  2. Grande Pike, medium roast
  3. Trailhead, outhouse, no toilet paper
  4. A cluster of campsites within a mile
  5. Driving, slightly faster than normal between campsites
  6. All other outhouses, no toilet paper
  7. Hillbillies with dogs at one campsite give me the evil eye
  8. Back to trailhead, outhouse, no toilet paper
  9. Deciduous trees



Moon Machine

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The Wind Bends the Flower

It’s easy for her to get lost in stillness, before light sneaks between curtain and window, playing shapes on her bedroom walls.
The softness of night can’t hold back day. She knows that. She hears the east wind pick up, as the sun spreads it over the city, where it curls around signposts, dips below fences.


Her ride in is easy, with the wind, a powerful glide, her body in tune with all traffic. On her way back home, she fights. The wind brushes her ears, a reminder of how life is scheduled, one comes, one goes.
Lives take the shape of schedules. She begins to see the shape of it on her face, that ease of following the flow, the chatter of her job, people’s energies intermingle, clash, flitter about. Then, the struggle to find herself on her own time, left to an inner dialogue that sometimes slips into the air, out loud, like crazy talk, wind and ground.
She prays to the stillness, after that same sneaky morning light dims, wishing to hear something break into sound, tearing into her null, an abstract of stillness.
She decides to attack the quiet, quietly. She believes her insides, once let loose, will bleed like a blooming flower.
The east wind dies down, occasionally rattling the metal of her bathroom exhaust fan.
She falls asleep and dreams of noise but can’t remember what they sounded like when the light wakes her up…again.

The Lover and the Fool

Running through the mud, laughing like a feral forest child with no concept of language. My body, the only means of communication, flying down Macleay creek trail, passing the Witch’s House. I swear I float above the trail. Then on Wildwood, even the sounds of the shipyards can’t humble my magic. I am the mud, the fern, the bobcat, the pygmy owl, hunter of twilight, snapping, gulping foggy sunbeams poking their shadows between slender conifers. I look to my skin to see if it’s on fire. There aren’t flames, at least the kind one can see. And it does not burn in the sense of pain, but from inside me.


Dragging my untied shoes in Sunnyside, my feet like claws on the pavement. Closing the car door, running shoes dangling from my hand, they are stuffed with a couple of twenties, debit card, license, house keys. My limbs ache for a shower and a beer. Kids from the school pass by, laugh. My body, the only means of communication, hands, red, wrinkled, veins and arteries…caked mud on my knees. I am the transient, the poor, a beggar, schizo. The sun is a fool and a lover. I look to my skin to see if it’s on fire. Ashy. The kids aim their cellphones at me.

Daylight Thieves

Sauvie Island, February 2019

(click on image to enlarge)

More images found here and here.

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