Sometimes I remember the time
I stole away from a wedding party
—a long celebration on a winter’s night—
made my way upstairs in that big house
and found a bed and fell upon it to rest
to let the party finish itself whenever
it would. The bedroom door opened
and the bride walked in, kicked off
her satin slippers, thunk, thunking
to the floor, she tossed aside her veil,
ghostlike it landed over a chair and she
joined me, still in her long bridal dress,
stretched out beside me exhausted
and we listened to the din below.
There we were both staring at the ceiling
with champagne muddled brains wishing
the people would leave. What happened
to her bridal bouquet?
And maybe we both knew it was
an inauspicious start, the marriage
didn’t last. I don’t recall her tossing
a bouquet. I do remember thinking
perhaps wedding receptions were
occasions when a bride and groom
should be the first to depart.
Published in Phrasings—In Word and Dance
A loud scree of a Red-tailed Hawk
fills the air. The sharp cry breaks
through a quiet afternoon
like an intonation of sacred bells
when we are summoned to be
alert. This scree soon dies down
to a softer remnant until only echoes
of it like an earworm of song remain.
Sounds awaken us—place us with our
feet on the ground, mind in the same
spot, a brief respite from busy thoughts,
it’s our North Star in finding peace.
This poem was published in the Methow Arts Alliance Quarterly Guide to the Arts in the Methow Valley for Winter 2017-18.
I was humbled by the size of the audience I had for my reading from Resting in the Familiar at Village Books April 29 at 4:00 PM, How wonderful to see so many familiar faces in the audiences, although I wish I would have had time to visit with so many. Thank you all for coming.
The visit to the Methow by Paul Nelson, Judy Kleinberg and Luther Allen on May 10 to give a workshop in Twisp on Glover Street at Rod Reagent’s studio and May 11 was a success. We had several people who were interested in trying something new. The next evening readings by them, our past Washington State Poet Laureate, Tod Marshall, along with Confluence Poets: Sam Owen, Subhaga Crystal Bacon, Alana Blusol and myself at Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop received a letter to the editor of the Methow Valley News with high praise for the poetry.