Mary Shelley

Remnants of the past…embedded.

Curled inside chalky lava flows

Stuck to a shape…ripples in stone.

Only elements change its appearance.


I and everything wait for the rain.

The parched flowers and grasses

Fragile skin, stalks, browns and beiges.

Bloomed full, so easily, last spring.


The bridge is out, lower in the canyon

Where the Klickitat heads for Mt. Adams.

Along the dryness, scattered tree limbs

So light, they remind me of bones.


Whitened and greyed by summer

I imagine them becoming a form

A collage of life, blood, and image

Uneven substance, knees, elbows, heart


I feel a sprinkle. It passes quickly.

Once, I believed your hands were so soft

I thought they were made of petals.

Now, I know that I was right.


For, I’m the one who made you.


Forced to walk close to the highway

I pass a row of old houses

Where the highway bends between bluffs

Carrying an assortment of sticks, limbs, knots


The dogs bark at everyone.



Summer Forest

Summer plays with you in the forest, running mad in a meadow, hide and seek with a creek, foot race with a river. There are times when you’ll lose the summer’s sun, under deciduous and evergreens. But you will turn a corner, run into a bunch of arguing flowers who point the way back to a blaze of daylight or a ray of heat, the sun laughing its way through the canopy.  

Summer places the forest in a still quietude, no rain tapping upon fallen flora, no snow who corners all sound and makes it its own. In this solitude, your memories lie the shade. All you believe and don’t want to believe surrounds you. You will turn a corner, look at the flowers. And they are always, pointing.

Dust And Water

Clackamas River, August 2019





Along the upper stream, in the summer mountains, the witches watch.

Back in the city, they call them old growth.

Each one has their own assortment of spells.

Once you learn that fact, you realize why the forest looks as it does

And if you dance upon a carpeted trail, it may sound hollow beneath your feet.

You must know that it’s not an emptiness.


The witches invented graveyards.

For old wisdom knows that bones carry power, giving life to whoever lives within them.

And when you see a dead witch, you will not wonder why it’s still alive.

The bones resonate, hum a deafening song, cast deep spells.

Along the upper stream, in the summer mountains

Life gives death a living name.





Caught In The Tide

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August 17th, 2019, Portland Oregon

I just want my coffee and a blueberry muffin. Don’t close shop yet, I’ll give you a good tip. You’re afraid, I can see it in your eyes, you want to leave, and you will leave,

I have to arrive.

You see, I’m the one who opens the other shop in difficult times, like I’ve always done and always will. A job that places me somewhere between significance and insignificance.

My boss will periodically call me as she watches a live feed from the safety of her home.

You take my order but keep one eye out on the streets. You’re scared they will come inside your shop and you’re confused with what anyone believes. I’m not sure which they you refer to. It seems to be everyone, everybody. Your coworker tells you that someone has locked themselves in the bathroom for three hours. You become worried about your ability to leave. Your coworker calls the Downtown Clean and Safe officers, the ones who handle drug addicts and schizophrenics, they won’t respond.

They told me yesterday, they’re afraid and want to leave, and they will leave.


I have to arrive




Cape Meares, Oregon. August 2019

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More images can be found here, at Elan Mudrow Images




No Dreaming Required

She said we never reach the river we dream of. Never.

Yet, she’s there, roasting marshmallows, gutting fish, keeping dry inside a tent.

Perhaps, she’s forgotten how a wild river feels along the soles of her feet.

Its cold water, during the hottest days, makes you shiver, while the sun heats your body, still wet with its current on your skin.

Tickles those tender city feet.


She told me a story once.

As a young girl, she and a friend, riding bikes, exploring lanes and ways, had found a spring, circled by flowers and moss.

Magic, she called it. I saw the fire in her eyes, when that spring brought words to her mouth.

Words found her there.


They’re still with her. Not necessarily words she could tell someone. They’re inside of her. They didn’t just come to her. She had to go and find them.


I know…

Once she made a deal with abandon, ran the risk of abandonment.

A fool brave, not stupid

With more to learn.

Her feet, constantly wet.

Parallel Universes

Trillium Crossing, July 2019

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More images can be found here.

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