Fathers and Sons

By Eugene Marckx Dale lived alone with his mother, except on nights when the banker’s top hat was hanging on her bedroom door, or the senator’s homburg, or the general’s roughrider hat. Dale slept on a cot off the kitchen pantry, so she could be available when they came through. Most days he’d wander along…

Old Soldier

He walks between his metal shop and his greenhousefingernails broken at the edgeswrists coloring rust into the dirtfeet spread apart the old grunt way‒ a habit not broken off frommortars dropping In the metal shop sparks fly off the wheelsharpening a blade he may needto carve away trouble ‒ you never knowIn the greenhouse cherry…

The Lord’s Stallion

By John Thompson I want to be the Lord’s stallion! Thick and broad and sinewed And of milky mane, Sun’s fire caught and flashing In my dancing eyes And hooves as sharp and shining As obsidian! I want to feel upon my neck The firm direction of His arms And feel my tensing flanks Beneath…

What If

What if I could give myself a bit more attention? A bit more care? Maybe even a new respect by clearing off a bit of the old clutter? What if this alone could wake me – break me up? Open my eyes to whatever’s in the air? Find a new breath for this pair of…

Sometimes These Days

By John Thompson Sometimes these days I find myself so full of joy and gratitude that I feel like I might just explode. That’s not hyperbole: I really am beside myself, wondering what to do with so much overwhelming energy. I still have my sorrows and grief, mind you, and my discontents, but even when…

The Tangled Hills

Find a place at the edge of a swamp Listen and learn and take in who goes – who stays – what’s eaten – what decays – all the stinks and stews of it in the percolating ooze of a swamp’s necessities until you realize this isn’t all that life’s about When you come away…

Crows

by Ray Ruhlen "A crow stood on the burning deck, eating potatoes by the peck"We have an extended family of crows around us, I have fed them daily after lunch for many years, we get along together, the crows, me, and out black cat, Mr. Squeakers, who I take out for a walk after lunch…

When I was a Boy

… we’d go tramping off the back road through salal and ferns and huckleberries and hike the dry logged-off ridges crisscrossed with wild strawberries tiny and tasty and gritty with sand We’d stomp down tough blackberry vines raveling over the slash of old bones piles of branches the loggers left We’d reach past bramble thorns…

Deep Sea Salmon

Dad where have you gone? Did you leap quicksilver into a big run of legendary June Hogs now long lost? Or are you too smart for that? Did you break through the trap of extinction holding to the shadows of that dam in back of my mind—thinking but not showing much?   Once in a…

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