Monday, June 08, 2015


sawtooth campfire sage –
total number ‘f stars you’ve seen
‘s your quality of life

on her fav’rite horse –
long ride ‘n th’payette, ‘n’ th’whole summer
spreads out ‘n front ‘f her

cour d'alene boxcar
shuts out steady mountain rain
pine smell slips through cracks

boxcar’s dry ‘n’ dusty
outside, cour d’alene shower,
inside, th’monarch’s dance

nez perce elder’s camp
world ‘f culture’s come to this,’n’ now
th’kids won’t learn th’language

bitter years at camps;
minidoka memories -
locusts at window

minidoka tale,
locusts screeching - years ‘f labor
questioned th’nisei’s faith

screeching ‘f th’locusts
comes back to minidoka,
remembers th’haiku

carneys’ve come t’nampa
three guys with muscles ‘n’ tattoos,
th’soft-eyed lass, th’driver

set up th’ferris wheel
she’ll take tickets ‘n’ feed th’an’mals,
th’stampede’s one ‘f their best

where you been, ‘t’s nothin’ –
soft voice, rough edge, carn’val lights,
th’snake river stampede

up close, th’smell ‘f horses,
leather, breath of th’alcoholic –
‘round th’corner, th’stampede

underside ‘f th’stampede
couple ‘f carneys’re into meth,
tell by th’look ‘n their eyes

old bug, peace sticker –
panhandle summer showers
makes folks feel so small

fry bread 'n' huckleberries -
spit grease, cars on twelve, the sounds
of his own footsteps

fled pocatello
took enough to camp in these
cottonwoods a while

poc’tello cott’nwoods –
man’s willing t’fish, camp, hide out
long as he has to


unearthly, th’lava –
hiking th’sawtooths, ‘n’ felt like she
had t’see th’craters ‘f th’moon

th’sun ‘n th’wide open lands –
truck broke, ‘n’ th’old guy got a lift
far ‘s cream can junction

quarter in the snake,
small plop of an august dream-
undammed illusions

boxcar, cour d’alene
mountain rain, tea, ‘n’ labor day,
‘n’ th’deer, too, just watching

couple ‘f years ‘n th’city –
come back f’r th’pleasures ‘f outdoor life,
‘n’ th’war bonnet roundup

war bonnet roundup
she describes th’rough kind ‘f pleasure
'f getting thrown off th’bull

hell's canyon rafter -
moment of calm, gold leaf,
reflection in th'snake

rafting hell’s canyon,
thought he was in paradise – then,
th’gold leaf fell on th’snake

hunter’s moon, boise
rancher kids looking f’r place t’drink,
maybe a fight ‘r two

hunter’s moon, boise
th’other guy picked th’fight, he says,
‘n’ puts th’teeth on th’train track

from th’kitchen, th’sawtooths
th’turkey, th’stuffing, all th’gravy
acan’t hide her anger

first frost, morning chill,
coffee, trout on open fire -
bitterroot breakfast


alberta t’vegas –
first frost ‘n’ th’taste ‘f some fresh-cooked eggs
in th’pocatello diner

th’haiku ‘f imprisonment –
back ‘n minidoka ‘t th’first snows,
‘n’ rememb’ring each word

cour d'alene drunkard
unfolding torn cali map -
damaged by first snow

twelve hours from th'coast,
fills tank, but waits out th'blizzard -
welcome t'idaho!


snow ‘n th’boots, sandpoint lad
feeling kind of cold ‘n’ lost, but
found th’local brew’ry

from th’bridge, quarter ‘n th’snake
hope f’r a better year, ‘n’ t’forget
th’things you can’t undo

moscow scholar’s tale –
standing over by th’egg nog,
got careless ‘n’ spilled it

blizzard ‘n th’panhandle
chops wood ‘n’ says, you’re better off
without th’government

panhandle woodsman,
winter's wood surrounds cabin-
sawdust falls from beard

panhandle cabin –
‘nough wood t’last, sawdust rubbed hard
into th’icy path

church basement ‘n boise,
blizzard howls outside – in here,
coffee ‘gainst th’urges

ice’n idaho falls
slid right off of old butte road,
took two days t’get’m out

sun valley skier
nordic cheekbones, perfect tan,
which she got on th’slopes

sun valley skier
worked on th’fine tan up on th’slopes,
ready t’go t’europe

just outside sandpoint,
runs her car into th’snowbank
gets t’meet all th’neighbors

sawtooths' snow-capped peaks -
she serves the onion soup with
pointed suggestion

window sealed against
moscow snows - not like russia,
'cept for the vodka

off twelve, th'wilderness
thaws and awakens - the fish
watches the hiker

boise laundryman –
th’fam’ly takes pains t’celebrate
th’chinese spring fest’val

saint joe forest home
bear knows where fish jump in spring -
let him have first try

they called it the red
'cause it ran red with salmon -
they came up hungry

salmon and coffee,
sun on lolo pass camas -
glad i'm home, he says

lolo pass camas
‘n th’mountain fog, they kiss, grateful
f’r trav’ling companions

over lolo pass ‘t night –
camped in this field ‘f wild camas,
never went back east

th’old black cali plates –
th’bug’s a treasure, ‘n th’spring rain ‘n’ fog
‘n th’panhandle mountains

grandpa pulled salmon
from th' river by th'bucketfull
's why it's called the red

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

th’pretty purple flow’r,
th’red fish camper want you t’know,
called th’elephant’s head


steep ravine ‘n th’sawtooths
th’joy ‘f th’wildest kinds of beauty,
‘n’ th’patch ‘f elephant’s heads 


deep in th’kaniksu,
th’pack river brings th’snow melt down,
th’ghost town’s lost th’spirit (1-18)

weiser fiddler's tale -
a world of travels end in
small town festival


in weiser, th’fiddler -
playing th’mel’dy, he says, ‘s like
rafting hell’s canyon

weiser fiddler’s laugh –
clear day, mountain music fest,
‘bout as good’s life gets


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