Sunday, June 14, 2015


th’aspens, th’mountains, yes –
but what shocks him, th’hikers
on th’other side ‘f th’road

gunbarrel rancher,
through th’window ‘f ‘n old truck – no clue
where th’town got its name

we live in rifle,
nothing funny about it -
happy fourth to ya

his back to traffic,
his sandals catch on asphalt -
wants out of denver

sure ‘n’ steady down th’cliff,
kick that san juan horse all y’want,
he’ll make up ‘s own mind


rocks by th’platte river –
th’monarch, too, has found refuge
‘t th’children’s museum

stops ‘n th’town of rifle,
gun in th’truck, loaded – even
leaves th’windows open


paparazzi ‘n vail
‘n th’bushes ‘round th’pool, get our shots
‘f it takes us all day

failed t’put out th’campfire
he blames th’hippies, who’re waiting
for th’dead t’come t’red rocks


‘bove th’springs, th’columbines –
camping ‘n th’mountains, she asks why
th’name even matters

way above denver,
she smokes one f’r cody – she works
‘t th’wild west museum

winter ‘n panjachel –
in telluride, she sells th’purses
and th’turquoise earrings

day ‘n th’uncompaghre
her wares, she left ‘n telluride,
‘n’ now she can’t let go

shimmering aspens,
their dance upstages denver
oh! th’monarch’s found them!

evergreen café –
she likes th’shimmering aspens,
can’t afford th’place t’live

big thompson canyon –
motor home manages th’curves,
just what they hoped for

pueblo yards blazing,
minutes t'hours, waiting for train -
all t'stay off th'highway

waits in th’pueblo yards –
th’train may or may not appear,
th’blazing heat’s here t’stay

th’dry dusty boxcar,
pueblo plains heat so hostile –
train’s refusal t’budge

aspen leaves shimmer,
soft afternoon light shines through -
delay denver life

red rocks afternoon –
th’guy was sure he’d seen th’devil,
it was just th’drummer

millionaires ‘t th’fest’val
catch th’scent ‘f campfire – he’ll go back
t’ th’uncompahgre

through denver to th’coast,
windows open – th’mountain air,
‘n’ th’uplifting fragrance

asleep in the hay,
down mountain roads near aspen,
but th'truck loses wheel

hitchhiking against
traffic - estes park aspens
shimmer in the sun


djiboutian cabbie
wants clues - denver conventions,
summer mystery

just up the mountains,
red rocks, blue sky, sun - guitar
solo shimmers, sears

flatlanders in vail
all summer, filling their tanks -
trip home's all downhill

bear logo reflects
in downtown denver's windows -
woodsman's labor day

sneers at th’flatlanders –
vail carpenter likes th’high rents,
place clears out in th’fall

cafe on sixteenth-
painted piano, well-played -
only leaves respond

high ‘bove evergreen,
tea ‘n a grove ‘f flaming aspens
tries t'magine settling

th’opulence of th’lass,
th’aspen post office, fall rain –
we’re stuck ‘n th’same foyer

trinidad cowboy
in town to belt down a few
cuss out the broncos

th’ranchers come t’limon,
get th’cup ‘f joe on saturday –
sundays’re all f’r th’broncos

pastries from dumpster,
fried acorns, creamers he'd swiped
back in evergreen

th’aspens slowly turn,
‘n’ th’breckenridge carpenter knows
time ‘n th’mountains ‘bout up

downtown trinidad,
on th’bench, dreaming ‘f gold t’be found –
kid ‘n th’ghost costume scares’m

th'platte - souls' day refuge
from traffic and th'business world
of downtown denver

western slope rancher –
at night, reads all their accounts,
then throws’m into th’fire

grew up ‘n djibouti –
now he’s wary ‘f th’first ice on
th’diag’nal highway

green mile scientist’s
th’mistletoe, th’countdown

her mile high champagne,
th’healing nature ‘f cannabis -
in th’smoke, she explains

ice on east colfax -
th’chance t’do science, her first wish,
here’s t’prosp’rous new year 

at lookout exit,
truckers warned - icy blizzard,
descent treacherous

skier ‘t telluride
orders th’starbucks in russian,
th’phone translates all th’words

crested butte complaint –
they live t’ski, ‘n’ come by th’hundreds,
no place left to rent

lookout exit sage
rattled – th’blizzard’s made th’traffic
utterly silent

telluride skier
firm believer ‘n exercise,
‘n’ private property

one windshield wiper –
freezing rain ‘n th’pike forest, ‘n’ he
learns ‘bout nirvana

breckenridge skier
important t’be in good shape,
money’s not ‘n issue

likes boulder ‘n’ th’snow, but
th’”free tibet” bumper stickers
impress him the most

high above denver,
tunnels blocked by drifts, car stuck,
white noise, no defrost

san luis winters -
so hard, so long, they'd forgot
what candles were for

larimer diner
omelet's ham and cheese - warmth for
next mile-high blizzard

larimer diner –
ham ‘n’ cheese ‘n th’regular omelet,
outside, th’raging blizzard

fog ‘n’ snow ‘n th’high pines,
winding road through much ‘f estes
eyes on th’qual’ty ‘f th’road

likes t’call it fo-co
so close to th’ski slopes, but he
mostly sits around

rancher from hugo,
larimer street club, march squall -
his eyes will adjust

ways outside steamboat,
mountain road, ‘n th’alpine daisies
th’mountain goat appears

green mile entr’preneur –
tax day, ‘n’ mentions th’benefits
‘f doing all th’research

long drive to steamboat
fields ‘f alpine daisies, th’mountain
goat stares back at them

limon boxcar door
slams on april fools' day joke
whole punchline, he missed

high ‘bove evergreen,
th’couple from th’lowlands watch th’rider,
bareback, ‘n th’blooming field

even at easter,
th’dry chinook winds’ll burn th’hillside –
they'll rush back t’denver

chinook winds, so hot,
his face dries ‘n’ cracks, ‘f he don’t stop
lookin’ t’ward denver

road to crestone
gentle may rains, and th’sounds of
one windshield wiper

whole glade ‘f columbines
in th’ev'rgreen air, he’s forgot
how hard ‘tis t’get work


field ‘f alpine daisies
short ways off th’two-lane t’steamboat
close’s th’mountain goat’ll get

mem'ry, horizon
melt together in june sun
next town, dinosaur


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