Friday, May 22, 2015

New Hampshire

got th’whole north country,
but one loon’s rant takes up th’night,
even in lancaster

climbing th’presidents
left his law firm back ‘n th’city,
loves th’mud on his boots

eager t’climb th’pres’dents,
madison, adams, monroe
knows’m better’n th’fam’ly

june with th'presidents -  
adams, washington, mad'son - 
he's climbed them all twice

firecracker took his
finger - now he spends his fourths 
fishing 'n th'merrimac 

from th’mountain, th’old man
‘ll watch th’webster highway tourists
he’s started t’crumble

lancaster evening,
warm ‘n’ gentle, but even th’loon
complains ‘bout th’winter

down from granite peak
crumbled white mountain king
whose reign has ended


from th’fisherman’s truck,
he sees that th’old man’s crumbled –
though he lives on th’tags

through th’fury’s window,
questions th’old man on th’mountain
how long will you reign?

laconia bikers
united in their feeling
th’locals’re too proper


th’house’s ghosts talk t’him –
light on th’sill, ‘n’ th’days are shorter,
 just off th’franklin pierce

ridgetop campsite local tells
of th’granite ‘n’ th’glaciers

tales ‘f glaciers ‘n’ granite –
winnipesaukee camper
seems t’know th’whole story

in dartmouth green, old
prof expounds under bright trees,
squirrel hides acorns

acorns ‘n th’dartmouth green –
thorough review of th’classics,
little too much wine

leaves on keene roadsides
blow in wind of passing cars,
without their purpose


come back t’ th’keene valley
from his tour ‘n iraq – th’leaves change,
‘n’ he’s hoping f’r lots ‘f snow

banks of th’merrimack
loves t’fish, ‘n’ loves th’fall colors,
hates t’be stuck on th’bottle

th’el’gance ‘f th’tiny church,
‘n’ th’reddish maples that frame it –
he’s back ‘n th’keene valley

pats on th’radio,
pastor promotes salvation – 
“live free or die” tags

tiny town ‘f berlin
even th’through hikers’ footsteps,
quiet ‘n’ serious

through-hikers in whites
meet by chance - town of berlin
can't contain their joy


walking th’franklin pierce
first frost on th’hillsides, ‘n’ th’silence,

peaceful town ‘f berlin
each hiker’s walked from georgia
‘n’ there’s a lot to say

october in th’whites
no better time t’notice how
ev’rything’s alive

first frost in the whites -
the trail laundry, stuffed in pack -
only maine ahead

through hiker in whites -
somehow stopped seeing colors
't thirty miles a day

seven pumpkins wide,
boxed in by granite - what's this
'live free or die' thing?

portsmouth machinist –
feast ‘r famine, says ‘bout his job,
his wife’ll cook th’turkey

first snows ‘f manchester
never guess, ev’ry four years,
such a traffic jam

first blizzard, plymouth
th’stately brich church holds its ground,
ready for much worse

on four going west,
's used to portsmouth, but christmas
's back to mastigouche

north church through window,
eggnog clouds his mem'ry - doomed
to repeat hist'ry?

manchester cafe
wag, sees blizzard - 'moved here for
live free or die tags'

ways off th'franklin pierce - 
old farmhouse, thirty acres
'f frozen, rocky earth

lonely, he feeds th’skunk –
roads’re icy, no one visits
back off th’franklin pierce

t’s all ‘bout th’candidate –
white christmas, but she’s stuck on
th’slant ‘f th’union leader

light snow, manchester
side street – but when you’re ‘n pol’tics,
all roads go t’d.c.

this road t’dixville notch
she wants t’know how folks will vote –
how slick, th’roads t’power!

snow ‘n th’roofs, dixville notch
all’s quiet, sure they’ll hide from
another tourist

stunned by th’roundabout,
th’maine-bound texan wants t’stop ‘n’ look –
but th’roads’re too icy

freezing rain and snow -
union leader's confident
turnout'll break record

manchester blizzard
hot air from th’campaigns, he says
makes no difference

lonely stretch of four -
snow on tongue, eyes glaze over
at andover sign

stuck ‘t th’andover sign,
reminded ‘f mom’s law – t’keep th’tongue
off ‘f th’frozen metal

cross th’line ‘t nashua
feels so diff’rent from boston,
even th’roads’re icier


halfway t’montreal,
stopped in th’whites, t’argue in french
‘bout when th’snow would melt

dartmouth scholar's tale -
verdant valley's flowers bloom,
plato collects dust

flow’r’s got a lot ‘f names,
says th’keene lass – dad’s a pastor,
‘n’ calls ‘t th’devil’s paintbrush

one moment 'n portsmouth -
around th'corner, and in th'sun,
oh! cherry blossoms!

gets off th’road ‘n portsmouth
has to see th’blooming cherries
t’keep th’haiku spirit

portsmouth’s cherries bloom
even th’local kids pose with
th’japanese tourists

keene roads, or’nge hawkweed
pretty as dand’lions, but she
calls’m devil’s paintbrush

u n h tassel -
relatives and friends toast her,
she yearns for the whites

forty years ago,
brought her th’u n h tassel
he’d gone ‘n’ retrieved

motorcycle week
laconia’s lot like sturgis,
he says, ‘cept for th’loons


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