Monday, May 25, 2015


fishing th’yellowstone
he likes th’shape ‘n movement ‘f th’fish,
it’s all about th’lures

he knows it’s the rainbow –
wye exit, near th’gathering,
they’re changing their clothes

choteau fourth - one view
'f th'events of little bighorn
upsets th'local girl

choteau parade tale –
th’lass is shocked th’blackfoot could be
so drunk and bitter


grandma talks t’ th’blackfoot –
she’s old, ‘n’ he’s drunk, they agree,
t’th’noise ‘f th’choteau parade

bitteroot valley
elk stop for aspen breakfast -
tenuous balance

whitefish forest tale –
hiking all night, then, at dawn,
big mountain jesus

fishing th’bitterroot,
broke ‘s foot – van ‘f hippies saved ‘s life,
now he’ll pay it back

contempt – might be, th’backpackers
‘re wye’s only vis’tors

trout bucket spills, fish
flail in pickup bed, locusts
screech - road to bozeman

small tent in glacier,
food hung in tree, sounds of woods -
she hears bears all night

glacier campsite bear –
they invited her t’dinner,
she had other plans

mirage ‘n th’sun-baked road,
th’needle’s at e, not yet t’moore
off ‘n th’distance, th’mountains

uphill, th'wide prairie -
cyclist on two says he's got
new view of 'big sky'

moore roadside wildflow’rs
focused on th’mountains ‘n th’distance,
‘n’ th’sun’d risen on both

surprise creek baseball -
game with no fences, challenge
to contain oneself

came back t’surprise creek,
found th’grace he was looking for,
‘n th’sunday game ‘f baseball

blueberries in th’sack,
hunk ‘f cheese, water jug, freight train –
west t’ th’idaho line

koot’nai boxcar’s wind –
mountain streams, wildflow’rs in th’sun,
forgets t’watch f’r tunnels

in th’koot’nai tunnel –
th’mountain summer vanishes,
th’rails’ echoes deafen

rising sun cyclist
by day, pedals th’mountain cliffs
by night, campfire tales

glacier pullover –
th’bear’s a year-round resident,
just contempt f’r th’tourist

rising sun cyclist
th’bear still wonders how th’woman
can be so quiet

th’roads‘re narrow, th’cliffs‘re steep –
cycling th’sun highway, she says,
th’high point of her life

cameron rancher,
hands sore from th’day on th’fences
he’s where he wants t’be

husband’s ‘n stocks ‘n’ bonds,
she says, ‘bout t’ride th’sun road cliffs,
he studies risk ‘t home

thunder, august squalls,
trucker grinding ev'ry gear-
coming out of butte

dawn, whitefish forest
bed ‘f leaves, campfire, and th’view of
big mountain jesus

bear crosses road to
m'ssoula, back into sumac -
and not to college

from behind th’sumac,
th’bear calmly watches th’freshmen
th’attractions ‘f m’ssoula

sumac on th’roadside –
back ‘n missoula, she yearns for
diff’rent kind ‘f future

outside th’town office,
koot’nai woods for miles – inside,
ghost decorations

rains in kalispell -
leaves blown down past camper where
hunters are huddled

raining ‘n kalispell
th’wet leaves falling remind him
how cold th’mountains get

cabin at foot of
elevation mountain - watch
orion stand tall

big mountain jesus
‘n’ th’whitefish forest cup ‘f coffee –
first frost, ‘n’ th’issues ‘f th’day

missoula campfire –
first frost in th’northern rockies,
‘n’ black coffee for th’road

million acres scorched,
tongue river too, th’wildlife’s gone,
first snow, ‘n’ there’s silence


going to th’sun road
eastern part closed by th’first ice ‘n’ snow,
west, closed by th’wildfires

elk in th’bitteroots
moves slowly off th’snowy road,
call it th’cold shoulder


christmas ‘n helena
government should’ve known not t’burn,
lost th’ranch, ‘n’ th’guy’s bitter

missoula new year
party lasts ‘til dawn, they step
into six foot drifts

champagne ‘n’ everclear –
missoula kids didn’t reckon
with th’seven foot drifts

bring on th’four foot drifts,
says th’bozeman lass – better than
for’st fires, any day

considers ‘t hostile –
th’wide ‘n’ flat montana prairie,
all covered with ice


skiing near bozeman
he calculates th’cost ‘f wireless
‘n’ plane tickets back east

rancher eyes raven,
wolf tracks in snow - there's trouble
in the bitteroot

billings policeman
knows when blizzard's expected
and who'll be stranded

near billings th’car shakes,
trying t’get home f’r th’holidays
th’fear overtakes her

blizzard ‘n th’icy streets –
billings p’liceman reflects on
th’things you just can’t change

ranchers here'n cam'ron
have trouble getting calves through
winter without wolves

gears shift, trucks rumble,
orion pokes fire embers -
butte cloverleaf fades...

field of camas waves -
four dogs, three hikers, old truck,
winds through lolo pass

river ice breaks up,
fishin's good, but he dries out
in a bozeman jail

koot'nai wilderness -
from th'top 'f th'boxcar, th'mountain springs,
watch out for th'tunnel!

cameron rancher –
wary ‘f nature’s predators,
hungriest in th’spring

eureka teller
smiles at loonies and toonies -
spring's come down th'rockies

eureka teller
doesn’t mind th’loonies ‘n’ toonies,
‘n’ takes th’hiker’s flowers

days ‘f loonies ‘n’ toonies,
plans t’see th’eureka teller -
now their camas bloom

montana wetlands –
he’s glad th’sandhill cranes came back
from th’bosque d’l’apache

montana wetlands –
so few people, even th’cranes
seem t’know them by name

e pluribus haiku


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