Yes, I’ve been off my site a long time. I’ve been active but just not posting. Here are 3 poem published August 1st by “The Timberline Review”, an excellent new venue for poetry.
Running The River Of No Return
As we rounded each bend, sitting on the lip
of our rubber raft, he plunged
his paddle into the foaming waves,
bringing us around the heads
of rocks, out of danger. The river’s
lessons he described softly
as he cleaned trout with a few swift
knife slices, laying open
the scaffolding of the fish,
or as he joked while petting the darkly
patterned gopher snake he held
curled around his arm.
By the campfire, luminous flecks of ash
drifted over our small cadre of rafters.
I remember only three:
and the guide.
His body was younger, shorter
than my husband’s
and he had a large, uneven scar
along his upper right thigh.
His story of the shotgun wound—
a boyhood elk hunt with brothers
high in these canyons. I saw the elk
backlit on the crest of the canyon
and the blood-soaked pants
and felt the tourniquet and watched
the litter of branches
they used to carry him
inching down the cliffs.
The eleventh son of Mormons, his name
was Ray, and he knew the silver-skinned river,
its constant currents, and he had a look
as he watched me when I wasn’t
looking, and when I was.
By The McKenzie River
Midnight arrives on this river
as boundaries swirl away
between the safe and unsafe.
Running right toward me,
in the presence of the moon,
the river turns, bends and falls
over rocks like wet feathers. This
hinge of water and night, this river
reminds me the earth is wet,
gathering rain from the sky,
snowmelt from the mountains, sending
water to the sea, and returning rain
to rivers again. Here
everything is exchanged.
At the river’s edge, so late at night,
I am washed clean of desire
washed clean of difference
between me and this river;
between this life and the next.
A Smoky Rubble
I tramped around our marriage
like an unpaid strumpet. I traipsed
around like a toddler with icing on her face,
fist punched into the sweet
heart of confection. I expelled
babies that resembled you,
lost with what to do.
Through the cluttered rooms I rambled,
batting at cobwebs, dusting
the furniture but nothing
came clean. My dream was to rearrange
the scene, but the house collapsed,
its ceiling beams lay crossed
upon themselves, a smoky rubble
insurance wouldn’t cover. All
that was left—
the deep, indifferent blue sky.