All day it has felt like a Sunday, although
It’s a Friday in late October, 1893, and
The rain is softly falling from the uniform gray sky —
Smothering the blue above, and blotting the sun —
In this old gold mountain mining town in Oregon.
I drink from a beloved handmade ceramic mug
That my daughter made for me
My afternoon Lapsang Souchong,
While pacing on the porch of this tiny cabin.
I’m startled with happiness when you appear;
Thou others cannot see you
I know you are real, even if
All of this is a grand simulation.

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If memories make for a good life
Then forgetfulness takes life away
In tiny fragments that tumble down
The embankment of our disappearing self —
To the river, then to the sea.
Each day I lose so many treasures —
Of friendly faces,
Of familiar places,
Of Hemingway’s Robert Jordan,
Of the horrors I am capable of, and
The terrifying fears that define me.
I have slept and I have dreamed of Borges,
I have screamed at the approaching tiger, now
I’m forgetting so many things; yet
There’s a solemn magic in forgetting —
To see things anew, or
To read a poem for the first time, again.
With bravery and stoic determination
I enter the silo of the unknowns.

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Awaking from his sleep he arose in the night, and
Stepped outside onto the porch to cool himself, and
From this vantage saw a warrior Indian
Standing near to the yellowing Tamarack tree in the yard.
The warrior was silent like the sound of the sun, yet was
Swinging a hatchet that dripped with blood and bone, and
Wearing a simple loincloth, and ornate red-orange headdress.
The man was too afraid to stare at the warrior for long,
For fear that he would be attacked and scalped, but
Before he could look away the Indian turned ‘round and
Slowly crawled under the low branches of the Tamarack.
Once under the tree the warrior sat, and
Smiled a concerning smile at the man, and
Slowly disappeared like déjà vu fading back into normality.

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Somewhere in the weaving labyrinth of dreams,
Outside, near the long forgotten turquoise truck-bed
Bathed in early rain and low angled silver light,
I saw you, standing alone,
Wearing the brown dress that was your favorite, and
Speaking with a person for whom I could not see.
You were radiant, vibrant, and
Very real to me in that moment, so much that
I quickly lost myself to your possibility,
Remembering the way you danced, and kissed.
I cried out your name with all my breath,
You turned towards me, becoming a falcon, and
The Oregon forest was now sand, and
I became the ocean above you.

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An Idaho summer dust storm enveloped them, again,
Agitating their eyes and lungs, obscuring their vision,
Turning the blue sky sandy-brown, and
Producing only a few raindrops
Which did little to nourish the crops or their souls.
It was a difficult time —
Covid killed and terrorized,
People suffered from inflating fiat currencies,
Money buying less and less, while
Masks and lockdowns muzzled dissent, and
Throughout the west droughts persisted, worsened.
Fires raged in the forests and deserts,
Smoke smothered the sky,
The weather refused to cooperate with their hopes, and
After some time there was a darkening of spirits, and
A growing malaise and hunger, which
Redoubled the pace of entropy,
Confounding the situation.

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From where I stand
Beneath the sky’s southeastern sun and water-tower,
Inline with a few riddles of time
Before travel was banned, and
Outlaws roaming dirty-wild in masks and spurs
With gallant horses fierce in battle
Protecting monolithic foundations at the Temple of Jupiter
To praise Athena and the much older sun deity Shamash,
Lived a tribe, in the deserts of now Idaho.
Happy people, doing their best to survive.

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There will be a tomorrow
Until our consciousness
Melts into flowers, and mud
Cascading down a river with
Red-brown canyon walls and birds circling to land
Before night scares them from the sky.
Did he want a watery grave
When twisting currents took his final breath, or
Was it his reward for so many efforts,
Valiant and otherwise?
Tonight we danced to the music and silence
Me, and all my other selves
Laughing, at the wonder of it all,
My soul glowing
Brighter than distant stars in the dark.

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