Category Archives: Cascadian Byways

poems written in and around Cascadia, often traveling by train or ferry

night lake diving

freshly skinny white

leaping from the storm

the 2AM moonlight

fractures with the impact

the rocks below 

clarified by the 

glacial melt

jagged but deep enough

for divers and explorers

escaping ennui and malaise


on the shore bobbing over rocks

shook freed from constraints

the absence reveals

no barriers for the lubricious and clumsy 

emerging from the cold

to stumble on the wretched shore

where bullets won’t start a fire

only tinder and a spark

is all i can stammer

Comfortably Lonely, Cabin Porch

Comfortably lonely, cabin porch
hard back book
foggy overslept hard back chair

backpack hangs on
a wooden peg
but for deja vu

trembling hands
loosening clothes
fingers slipping
underside the clasp

coarse canvas dream
and well oiled leather boots
with high arches
moving away from here

even before painting
the rooms onto a circus tent
the tall poles cantilevered
and kids with summer suntan lines
on open feet

saguaro sunset scenery
flash by in a clackety-thwack 16mm print
Grandpa coughing, me
jotting down unessentials,
collecting pottery along the way

the movement is key i recollect
while stopping still and
tucking my boots
under a hearty mantle
of foreboding calm

One way these tracks

One way these tracks
run directly into the elevator
then somehow into Mt. Hood

turning east
stopped by a wooden fence
with a dam behind
Columbia daunted
but roiling

stunted but strong yet
regressed to measures, velocity
and potential
the water spreads thinner then gold
every fiefdom wants its piece to bridge,
tame and dam

rocks and measurements
observe the folly
silt builds behind
water cools ahead
beyond memories
of what wasn’t left behind
of drowned villages
and artifacts uncovered
entombed and enshrined
only the tugboats come close

barge drifting
silos wait
trains slip past
Columbia slows

Coastal Starlight 2 hours late

Coastal Starlight
2 hours late
dropped into darkness
late after waiting

i could wait until tomorrow
but i’m ready to leave today

Nine dollars for small bottle
of California merlot
drinking into blackness
cabin eerie tranquil
knowing the commotion
inches below

Mountain Lake, Cerulean You

Mtn lake
deep and pure
devious me
and cerulean you

Sky blue Trepidation

Sky blue trepidation
low as bricks
soft as flakes

My brother called
something about
quitting jobs
remembering jobs
remembering summertimes
building log houses
muggy days
broke by coral seas
sanddunes stretch
past the yellow cedars
jump again into sento
soaking hot
feeling low
straggling past
the circumstance

Juniper Road

Juniper road
Umitilla highlands
the pass heads straight down
to the straight road
into Pendleton

High as radio waves
past towers, o’er canals
Burley in the distance
moon just shy of half
just enough though
to light the stars

The Smallest Town

the smallest town possible
Sublett Idaho
(or Utah?)
no matter
i’ve been there twice

Ranch Exit

Ranch exit Oh de Oh
O’er the pass we gonna roll
‘nigh services up ahead
just us and trucks
rounding the bend

Dropping in and shiftng down
half past Snoville by 10 oh 5
would stop for pie
if the town were open
but shuttered down
so we keep on rolling

Ranch Exit Hi di hoh
mother trucker swerving solo
slow on down ya great big loader
bail out lane is
right there for ya

Ranch Exit Low de doh
diggin the starshine show
riding green and rolling low
past the flying J
dark in idaho

Ursa Major pointing us ahead
wellsville rising far behind
as we are northward bound
idaho’s road are bumpy
utah beer is swill
oregon holds the gas pump and
washington is greener still