Okanagan Gneiss

I was doing something wrong with my life. In the highlands sunlight outlined the lodgepole pine Making a black absence in the blue sky The exact shape of a pine. Let me sketch for you The red cedar alone in the lower dark With its sash of moss woven from pure-green Filaments of age, or… More

Group Meditation, Camp Bratton-Green, 1978

The camp counselor’s voice was sun-shot molasses—invite the light, she said, so I let it ebb up my knuckles and elbows until warmth washed over my entire torso like sunset on a pocked brick wall, and I became that light—sort of—face up and afloat on the chapel floor. Gong rung, I was the last camper… More

What Survives

There will be sweat at the back of your neck seven months out of the year. That’s true, that and an ugly history too. At least, in the South, the Ice Age never quite passed through. I can say that while glaciers scraped the North clean, here there was only a little winter. From the… More

Poem with a Slur and a Pun in It

We should admire Rambler roses, so resilient their vines green what was bare ground in a single season, then scale up and overtake trees, strangle whole canopies, if we can stand our own sort. And prize Redbreast sunfish, that flash a brilliant blood color. They breed in streams native trout cannot survive now because the… More

From the Middle of It

Out here on Discovery in the song light of another long day walking sheets through the blade and drawing shapes upon the bare walls of the house my children will someday return to as strangers and maybe for a moment remember the summer I worked like a madman, the land and the house so new… More

His Previous Life as a Lichen

He did not go far, and the journey was long. It seemed his quest was to enact the shadow of a distant ridge, until it was the distant ridge that became somehow the shadow of him. This freed him to swaddle an entire stone, to be a cloak, to gown the gray granite of a… More

Box of Oxygen

At the gate     I told the blond ranger a man headed straight into me as if he’d knock me down or walk right through my body a door     She smiled said for some it’s a meeting place     I had to run a long way to reach the tiny buildings for them to… More