Thursday, June 18, 2015


camping near northway
wakes up t’find mouse using
th’hole in th’bug’s floorboards

dull glow ‘f evening
anchorage clerk won’t sleep,
time t’go see people

camping near th’alcan
had some meat ‘n’ fry bread ‘n th’skillet
of course th’bear found him

delaney park strip,
th’fireworks – outside town, the bush,
th’purple swirling lights

huge feast, out in th’bush –
miles from th’d’laney park fireworks,
they share their whole world

in denali's lap,
a field of ripe blueberries -
th'old bear takes a breath

th’guy flips his kayak
quick bath ‘n th’clear blue alcan lake
which seems t’have no name

awkward, th’broken pack
from th’kenai, sparkle ‘f th’sea’s edge,
‘n’ money won’t buy much

short hike into th’bush
th’ev’ning sun sets ‘t tok junction
th’bear, too, has noticed

tok junction camper
haunted by th’impounded cars
back ‘t th’yukon border

through th’yukon border
th’image ‘f th’impounded cars ‘n’ trucks
sticks with’m all summer

purple lights swirling -
heavens' light show pins their backs
to th'northern tundra

purple swirling lights –
not th’normal earth we lie on,
it’s arctic tundra

tokyo to new york,
her plane laid over 'n anch'rage -
that sun never set

tok junction campsite,
stuck at fork in road - okay
'til 'bout september

anchorage harbor -
sunset turns into sunrise
slowly, in silence

ninilchik harbor -
onion dome reaches for moon,
salmon boat docks full

road to ninilchik
in th’boat, watch th’long sunset, then,
haul in th’salmon nets

salmon flop in th’boat –
onion-domed church ‘n ninilchik
welcomed all spirits

seasick and sleepless,
hauls th’kenai salmon in th’boat,
wonders where th’night went

near tok, ancient saab -
vermont tags, loaded down with
alcan gravel dust

loaded down old saab,
close t’ th’gravel – th’alcan dust
covers th’vermont tags

anch’rage, its bleakest –
th’cold august rains pound th’laundry,
he calls home collect

back t’savage river
th’early dusk, th’snow, th’tales ‘f breakdowns
have th’tourists worried

fairbanks mission soup,
still warm as days get shorter -
stay for the oil boom?

sitka cann’ry tale -
mind-numbing season ‘f fish heads,
money t’burn on drink

sitka cannery
cash – plenty t’burn ‘til th’first frost,
then th’question ‘f where t’go

sitka canner’s tale
thousands of fish heads ‘n august,
but now th’money’s gone

th’first chill catches him –
alcan dust, vast wilderness,
he turns back t’whitehorse

denali park road –
th’bear, too, here f’r th’road lottery,
not playing by th’rules

purple lights ‘n th’kenai
aurora ‘n fall reminds him
‘f his year with th’deadheads

down'n tok he'll decide,
hitch t'th'forty-eight for winter,
or cut back t'kenai

souls’ day, bering sea
moonlight, ice ‘n’ water, on th’plane,
everyone’s asleep

since th'night th'grateful dead
came t'anch'rage, endless darkness,
pale lights've been his stage

new year’s eve, and th’moose
crashes palmer man’s party –
quits drinking for good

they watch th’rose parade
th’moose, stranded ‘n th’palmer blizzard,
peeks in from th’outside

wolf moon, bering sea -
from th'airplane, earth's ghostly face -
tea, while others sleep

earthquake detection –
aleutians have th’best ‘f systems,
‘n’ th’whole winter t’watch them

d'nali train has t'stop -
man, dog, long trek t'their cabin
by dark 'n' snowed-in trail

man ‘n’ dog, th’whiteout storm,
hear th’railway – but only th’dog
is sure it will stop


he survived th’sixties,
works ‘n some post office near tok,
breath’s frozen ‘n his beard

frozen road’s smoother,
says th’bearded alcan trucker –
but you can’t break down

from th’cabin in th’bush
he watches the blizzard downtown
on th’fairbanks webcam

wanted t’be alone –
cabin’s whited out, ‘n’ his eyes
‘re on th’fairbanks webcam

dog vet’rinary –
course she carries what she needs,
mushes ten miles t’school

lived ‘n barrow twelve years –
‘t’s not th’mornings, fifty below,
‘t’s th’months ‘f darkness, ‘ll kill you

cold, rain, fog - juneau's
best valentine flowers, but
she misses texas

th’snow melt brings th’hunger,
‘n’ th’morning sun’s on denali
th’bear, too, likes th’berries

from th’small flat ‘n tokyo,
flew over th’north – now, ‘n anch’rage,
it’s spring, ‘n’ folks’re laughing

otherworldly robe,
feet on fresh-turned earth - kenai
sun on old b'liever

on th’hill ‘bove homer,
th’old believer tills his earth
eyes on th’western sky

sitka fishing boat
saved those deer from certain death -
frigid march waters

fairbanks library –
she tells about her dogs, ‘n’ why it’s
all about winning

changed her life th’first time
she saw them pull th’sled – on th’map,
traces th’iditarod

in willow, th’mushers,
off t’skwarentna and yentna –
th’blizzard clouds th’vision

skwarentna ‘n’ yentna,
th’worst ‘f all blizzards – lost two dogs,
but still finished th’race

all ‘bout th’comp’tition –
points her dogs t’skwarentna ‘n’ yentna,
hoping not t’lose them

single ptarmigan,
a stunted spruce, a spring cover -
freeze-dried blueberries

eight straight days of rain,
not a road out of the place -
juneau in april

'n tolkeetna cabin,
she's so far from home, but here's
'r field 'f forget-me-nots

field ‘f forget-me-nots
moved t’tolkeetna t’get away,
now he’s everywhere

sets out from fairbanks,
explores th’vast wilderness, loves
th’days that last f’rever


purple swirling lights –
tok bear seems t’care more ‘bout th’smell 'f
morning blueberries

twin engine cessna –
clear day, blooming tundra, ‘bout
thousand caribou

caribou ‘n’ th’cessna
change direction by th’hundreds,
but don’t seem t’fear him

dreamed 'v northern lights f'years,
one week they came up t'fairbanks,
'n'june rains settled in

near prince william sound,
week in an alpine meadow -
devil's clubs talk back

short growing season
anch’rage gard’ner tells ‘bout th’world’s
biggest dand’lions

th’forget-me-nots bloom,
th’tolkeetna cabin’s empty –
he came, but she’d left

e pluribus haiku


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