Wednesday, July 10, 2024

the abbess appears

the old monk sheds his sandals
wades into the mucky ditch
swinging his sickle
mowing thick swamp grass
just ahead of torrential rains

pulling heaps of vetch
stuck in choking muck
rakes, shovels, loads
three heavy barrows full

the water runs free at last
down through the culvert
into the low valley stream

the abbess appears
offers a dark rich
French press coffee

Friday, July 5, 2024


my first job: was on a ranch
creates cowboy visions
of mountains, cold creeks, 
patting the neck of a beautiful horse
oh the romance

more so
shoveling horse shit...the literal kind
flecks of creosote paint
burning my hands
rich girls in clean new jeans
laughing as I wheelbarrow by

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Sierra Nevada "1957"

Townes is playing
he's fingerpicking a Martin
under a sequoia tree 
he yells out:  "this one's called red wine blues"

Jack laughs 
hoists up two jugs 
and takes a healthy slug
and passes it to his young wife

more people arrive
walking up the winding path
Gord, Stephen, John, Benjamin...
and many more
some are holding cases of Labbatt 
over their heads
then dumping them into
troughs of ice

Gary wanders down
from his mountain shack
he'd been up there cooking
all afternoon
huge pots of chili
we start to spoon it out
two California girls 
top the bowls
with shredded cheese

everything shimmers...fades
a robin starts to sing out
into the dawn
a crow joins in

a final ethereal glimpse
of Gary smiling

Sunday, June 9, 2024

On the Road

On the Road 
beautiful Penguin edition
photo of Jack, and Neal
looking out over the library...
(learning commons)
up high yes
just like a fire watch tower
on Desolation Peak

students sit
staring into chromebooks
and the occasional Manga

the Kerouac paperback
sits unstamped since 2007
yellowing under 
fluorescent lights

Sunday, May 26, 2024

a new song

slow steady climb
up the rocky ridge
scouts used to clear this path
now it is rock strewn
blocked by a fallen tree
up over the shattered pine
then down into the small 
creek cut valley

drop my pack
by the door
little camp hatchet 
snaps through dry wood
flint sparks fly
warmth spreads
across the cabin floor

in the corner
an old Fender acoustic sits
six rusty strings hang loose
soon it is fitted up 
with a new heavy gauge set

low lonesome chords ring
up over the mountain top
a new song echoes

Friday, May 10, 2024

four more years

four more years...and 39 days
I'll walk out of here
dropping plaques
and ink wet cards
in my wake
stepping over
deflated yellow balloons
spinning slow
against the stairs

like Lot
like that prisoner
walking out 
that jail in Edmonton
but I won't be breaking
a store window
to get back in

I'll keep walking
out to my 4x4 ride
then drive
into the wild
deep into the wild.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024


music carries me
up over back country road short cuts
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
blasting hard fast distorted buzz

clicked off in my parking lot spot

a day of unrelenting cacophony
a stream of non-sequitur "facts"
questions and questions 
and questions about questions

head spins
exhausted monk

out to the car
all the way home
just a slight tire hum