From rain and melted snow

To find a way to the creek.

To a stream, in a hurried dash to the ocean


And here I stand, with bits of waterfalls

trapped, inside buckets.

My shoes.


Soggy, wicking socks

Make close friends with droplets.

Now trapped inside my shoes

It becomes labor-intensive to attempt an escape


Instead, the would-be waterfall participant

Accepts a ride back home

In time for dinner, A movie and a glass of wine

Then it’s off to the washing machine, and the dryer.




There are many different ways to get to the ocean.


(Image entitled Terrestrial. More images can be found here.)

Cruel River

This river runs cruel…

This river runs cold.

I know she’s lost in this wilderness, where the lakes are silent, dampened by snow.

Here, she walks on the edge of everything.


This river will meet the sea, that’s where all lies cease, for the moon has a crease.

And on the riverbank, all the leaves have fallen low.

No telling what they’ve seen.


I feel her body, right below the river’s current.

I think I can catch her, bring her back up, if only to the darkest of sunshine.

All light’s in a freeze.


My fingers slide on her skin. She slips through my grasp.

I look downstream to see if I can catch a glimpse of her.

But all is numbed by a ceaseless rain.

She’s not coming back no more.

She won’t come back no more.



(click on image to enlarge)



Traveling Near the Dark

There’s a quietness about the river

broken by a random leap, splash of steelheads.

a prairie hawk loses a feather.

The natives drink a loud liquor

on their fishing platforms, dip nets

looking for fish who choose

to become parts of ceremonies.


The valley refracts strong light

that moves with the quiet.

Hills are made of dead gold,

skeleton orchards, lost spirit guides.

Bear scat litters small pastures

where the river overruns its banks,

forming shallow pools.

I’m cautious like a fool and listen.


The sun sets earlier here.

I knew that going in

I’m searching for rain or shadows

They only last for a short period.

My phone drops, small echo

Black screen on slick green moss

I yell for some reason

Maybe to prove I can make a sound


The sun throbs red…west…hovers

next to the peak of Mt. Hood.

Highway 14 yanks at me with its noise

where occasional deer lie still

on the shoulder of its pavement,

small trickle of blood in their teeth.

Dusk is as good as night here.


I run.

Wet Hands

If your hands come away wet

Then you know you drink

With passion


Click on image to enlarge. Lost Lake, Oregon.






Living With The Volcano

A wide emptiness sits over Spirt Lake from Harry’s Ridge to Harmony Lake Viewpoint. An emptiness of vast distance with stars or sun, clouds and wind…a series of personalities, always in the process of change, threatens to knock all thought out of you.

You search for the mountain. Some days it’s larger than any life you’ve ever known, yet appears accessible, as if you could simply stroll up its skin to the summit, say hello to the sublime. Other times it hides behind mist, playing hide and seek through clouds rolling over that same emptiness.

As you watch the emptiness, you notice a small herd of mule deer. They feed between the mountain’s ponds, little scoops in the earth, formed by the eruption, filled by endless springs, alive. The deer watch you with slow caution until you break into all thought and speak to them. With that sound, they move away from you, bringing that sky, the emptiness, back down to the ground. All thoughts are returned to you and the sky resumes its simple task of appearing, with regularity, over your head.

And it’s only when you get back home when you realize the reason you search for the emptiness. For you never knew you’d see the deer and you were aware that the mountain may be hard to see on some days. That same sky is inside you, full of stars or sun, clouds and wind…a series of personalities, always in the process of change. And it takes your own voice, one that you can clearly hear, to break into all thought, making that sky settle back down to earth.



Scapegoat’s Paradox

Holding it in, close, became a strength

An essence, a nugget, bloom’s heart

Shaped by chinks, cracks, and splits

Of a shell you wished was a softer hue.


Relinquished, expelled, produced a body

The lucid form of your careful ambiguity

From a cold clay, carved and baked

An Image of remedy, poison, and sacrifice.




Mild Streak

Rain stopped

Forced spring out for a day.


Winter is an ideal

With a harsh streak of delirium.





These cold hills stand unconcerned of what walks beneath them. Snow, that made it through the day’s rain, will be covered by night’s newest layer of white. But here today, the rain collects upon the trail.

Footprints lie scattered. There are recent ones, still adhering to the shape of a shoe and older ones losing the semblance of humanness. All show their course around the puddles, trying to find the driest method to continue.

And yes, there’s evidence of others who’ve abandoned finding the dry way. Perhaps, they see themselves as hearty, brave, or trust their shoes more than others, or just don’t care.

Tomorrow, when the snow sticks, quieting the rain, puddles will be replaced by a contour of white. The trail can still be seen and if you look closely, you will see other kinds of footprints, who share the path, either dry or wet.

And the cold hills still remain unconcerned, even though it’s they, who we all wish to see.


(Click on image to enlarge. Salmon River, near Mt. Hood. Jan. 2020)

Naming Creeks

The creek isn’t cruel by not knowing my name.

Even though, I have known its name all my life.

On walks, I still follow its voice, soothed by its flow.

I won’t ask it to know me.

I’m okay with being an eternal stranger to it.


The creek doesn’t need my name

For me to hear its voice

Even during the loneliest times

When snow blankets its banks

And trees block the wind from its surface.


There are times when I wish

I could mimic the creek

But I know its name, taught to me by these very words

Which curve around boulders and tree limbs

Written by the currents of my own heart


Wet Pine Needles

Running the brittle floor—upon leaves settled to soil.

With mild hands wandering—through air and pressed sunlight.

Becoming branches—breaching the film of moist sky.

Clinging to winter’s sun—lucent thoughts, fictile.

Moving with the wildness—of the warm, fragile body.

Its abstractions of molds—ravines, dips, and death.


Wet pine needles held in a beam of furtive light.




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