Category Archives: Writing Collections

a library in process holding collection of my writing projects including expository essays, articles for counter-culture magazine, sudden fiction and freeverse poetry – organized by form or collection

Pondering the difference…

Pondering the difference
Between letting go and giving up
When I need something
to hold onto

Doing “self-care”
but
I get so wiped out
Waiting for the current
to drive me away

Check the expectations of others –
Where do I hide these feelings?
Why was she so mean?

So tired of being tired each day
Made a list of happy times
Things I’d like in past times
Is this useful or a trap?

So made a list of things to do
When feeling “this”
But find I’m bored
And reminisce simply that I’m blue

Acknowledgment of art and pain
Respect and fellowship
Simply to be loved and adored
“Is that too much to ask?”

Damn the Dam – essay about Colorado River and Lake Powell, 1988-9

“Damn the Dam” By Dave Olson, 1988-9

Photos by Johnny Adolphson (links below)

Originally written for a Creative Writing class at Utah Valley Community College (now Utah State University) taught by Larry Harper. Photos by Johnny Adolphson.

Once upon a time, there was a river, a river and a canyon. Everyone who saw this river in this canyon really liked it. Some lived for it, some died for it, many fought for it, no one hated it. Or admitted they did. All in all though, everyone agreed about its spectacularity. “Every one of these almost innumerable gorges is a world of beauty in itself…. Yet all these canyons unite to form one Grand Canyon, the most sublime spectacle on earth.” This is what John Wesley Powell said about the Colorado River and the canyons it gave life to.

The canyons Friar Francisco Garces described as “…the most profound canyons which ever onward continue.” Powell and Garces knew the Colorado a long time ago; they explored area, an area that is now very different and yet changing even now.

Up until a few years back, people took care of the river, and it took care of them. A relationship that worked well until someone decided that the river could be better used running air conditioners and so they built a dam. No one noticed much then; it was back when few knew much about the wonders this area held. Anyway, there was more than enough of this hostile, rugged area to go around. Dams were built everywhere, lots of them. It was an easy fix for the energy junkies.

“Man has flung down a great barrier in the path of the turbulent Colorado,” proclaimed the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation during the 1960’s. “It has tamed the wild river-made it a servant to man’s will.” The bureau was boasting of Glen Canyon Dam, a 710-foot high monument to technological prowess, but it could have been talking about any dam in the country (Davis 26). Now, the cliffs, the canyons, the plants and birds and rocks and things, and the river is gone.

The Colorado is no longer there as it was. Such dams back up the Colorado that still flows relatively freely and make the canyon a sluiceway between dry hills” (MacDougall 54).

So why do they do it? Why do they try? Electricity and water mostly. People generally need them. A lot of them. Too much? Any alternatives? Sure.

The flood gates should be opened, the river unleashed and the damage repaired. Let Nature reign again. Yee hah and Hieghty ho.

THE RIVER IN QUESTION

Photos by Johnny Adolphson (links below)

Today the Colorado has been rightly compared to hundreds of miles of plumbing system (Sunset 104).

Continue reading Damn the Dam – essay about Colorado River and Lake Powell, 1988-9

“Shoebox” story collection / chapbook, 1987-1991

Shoebox, chapbook / front cover
Shoebox, chapbook / front cover

Sometime around 2004, i went to a pal’s wedding in Connecticut – knowing i would see some old pals from Utah, unseen for many years, i assembled a run of (whopping) 4 copies of (an obviously handcrafted/bound) chapbook.

This little tome called “Shoebox” contained stories written while living in Utah alongside some of these lads in hopes of sparking memories and giving a little something of myself in thanks for their inspiration and friendship.

Cover photo is a thistle growing inexplicably from the red rocks of the Grand Canyon’s north rim on a wander i did with the groom of the aforementioned wedding.

Shoebox, chapbook / title page
Shoebox, chapbook / title page

As it goes, i never heard anything about the booklet, and forgot about the project until again Utah (autumn 2018) and buddy Dane’s copy surfaced during a move. I dutifully snapped a few lousy pictures for documentary evidence of creation.

The stories were written mostly in the “sudden fiction” style i’d experimented with after encouragement from James Thomas and Francois Camoin.

Shoebox, chapbook / table of contents
Shoebox, chapbook / table of contents

Continue reading “Shoebox” story collection / chapbook, 1987-1991

Vaclav Havel – Playwright, President, Activist, Leader #report

Vaclav Havel – Playwright, President, Activist, Leader
By Dave Olson, Fall 2002

NOTE: Written for a course at The Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) as an assignment to report about an admired leader. More resources to follow for archival interest.

Vaclav Havel’s career spans disparate jobs from brewery worker to playwright to President.  His life is highlighted by his unusual rise to power, writing of existentialist plays and political potent essays and his remarkable journey from a dissident in prison to the leading a fledgling country from the presidential castle in a matter of weeks.  Most importantly, his vision of bringing former-Soviet eastern European republics into the European community in a non-violent, efficient and sustainable manner is his greatest legacy.

Havel didn’t plan on a career in politics and came to his leadership positions in strange turns of events, perhaps he inadvertently refers to himself in his discourse, “Summer Meditations,” “…if your heart is in the right place and you have good taste, not only will you pass muster in politics, you are destined for it. If you are modest and do not lust after power, not only are you suited to politics, you absolutely belong there.”

Continue reading Vaclav Havel – Playwright, President, Activist, Leader #report

Poetry snippets: handwritten, from Japan

Post office closed
(again)
You’ll need another
day to know
you are loved
by a lost poet
without a watch

Walking alone while
rain falls

Thinking of you
or rather, us –
Together, umbrella-less

Wisteria mystery
Found me before
I knew i was hidden
We lay in a field
Watching rice in breeze, lazily
A bench picnic, waving as
boats pass a castle, slowly
A tatami room…

With memories of
a poet forgotten to much
of history

He came to be
part of it all
meeting at least
halfway.

Not change or mock –
Somewhat to document.

Today! A letter –
Written as you ate a peach
In last weekend’s sun

Assuming aluminum is smelted… / Towns and Trains

Mostly so i can answer Drs when they ask if significant exposure to heavy metals. Not more than others except for Geneva steel labourers. Never worked in an aluminum smelter assuming aluminum is smelted and changing pronunciation in my head, proudly on the fly.

##

from Towns and Trains, Sudden poems 2016-2018

Social Marketing Kung fu: Choose a topic card, a story or spiel may follow

Choose a topic card, a story or spiel may follow

These note cards are residual evidence of a “lunch ‘n learn” and/or other spiel presented in some context or another.

As it goes, i can’t cover all of my Social Marketing Kung Fu(n) topics o’ wisdom in one session, so i make a “game show” where attendees choose their own adventure by choosing from these little prompts.

Shared here for future reference.

PS You can hear loads of my spiels about topics including: marketing, start-ups, PR, renegade social community building etc. via the Community Feasthouse podchannel if inclined.