Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oregon



Each wagon cradled another handful of dreams
through mud, fear and the endless seas of dusty buffalo.

They followed the ruts of those that had,
and the past graves that hoped
to find their way to Oregon.

Legions of fat beaver, mighty elk 

and even the land bid them, "Come." 

Offering it's timber, salmon and furs; 
all wild and good.

Here, to what was not yet America 

but home to others
the travelers from the north lands long ago. 

Here, to the mild green valleys of plenty, 

home of the mighty flowing Wimahl, 
provider for the many.

Here, to the last long shore before the far-setting sun,
where faded days bow their head

in songs of welcome for the rising moon.

Gathered in the final valley, 
the seekers finally revel in the face of plenty.

All here have been lost, then found the way.
Now is when we live again
and cry out,
"Home."

A Certain Age



Random late September apples thud into the yard 
while the garbage truck, dressed in its squeaky brakes,
grazes down our street, stop after stop.
Early walking voices from the sidewalk 
slowly fade away.

The sun finally climbs though my window
and stretches out 

across the morning wall.

It seems to yell, " I'm back, did you miss me?"

at the top of its lungs.
I am never really ready for it.


My sleepless shoulders 
have tossed since 4am
but I did not give in. My conscription number 
to an age that rises extra early
only to water the yard
has not yet been called.

I see it coming though, wearing 

it's Members Only jacket of repeated stories, 
monochrome memory and dank gray hair.

Some days as I wander towards the comics
it stares back at me from the obituaries
with an, almost, unintentional gaze.

The projector whirs through action and not, 
past all the cameo's and out-takes
of my starring role so criminally short.
  

In Praise of Loafing




It must have been long ago that
loafing fell from favor,
splashing into the deep end of ill repute.
A v
ictim of the times, left there 
bobbing in the pool, face down. 

Gone are the days when I cast a younger shadow,

when I dared loll in the grass and watch the clouds
reinventing themselves just for me. 
Now the world yells that we are late and don't have time for that.

My eyes always liked that old picture

of Walt Whitman staring back from the page.
His eyes earnest yet relaxed; a hand on his hip, 
wondering if you can find what he did.

He seems to be almost confused by us chasing our tails, 

kicking up so much dust over nothing 
and really needing so very little.

With a comfortable hat pushed back on his head,

he questions us with a Will Rogers smirk on his face.
I’m sure he found the truth.

Where's the wrong in musing and watching the world go by?

Time to loaf, to ponder and think
sounds delicious on so many summer days.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Adios




As Oregon crawled towards me
down a road three days long,
Texas grew small and faint and got lost
somewhere in my rear view mirror.

A new sweetness filled my mouth.
I savored it through the Blue Mountains
and again at Celilo.

It grew stronger among the evergreens
when Multnomah Fall's rumbling voice
woke my sleeping senses from the road.

The great mother-river flowed beside me
to this new land, my new land,
carrying the melting snow one way,
and salmon in another.

All my flat and distant past burned before me upon a pyre of fir,
unending fragrant Douglas fir,
its downy spent ashes left to wash me clean.

A Pacific Wonderful-land for me
to live and prosper in renewed.

Time for Tea





Morning has slipped through the gap
beneath my door and rummaged
through my hair and fouled my breath,
telling me I must go now and sit erect
at the desk of responsibility.

From the kitchen I hear the Indian's war cry
slowly winding up from my tea kettle,
calling me to rise and plunge the leaves to steep.

The time has come again to swap my soul for
what will not change the world
but can pay the piper
for yet another dance.