Two poems from LUMINOUS
Coming to Pendleton
Riding the hairpins and switchbacks
off the Allegheny Mountain, there above the gloaming’s
last rose light
one star suspended like hope
in a firmament of memory.
Days shorten to the solstice,
and we live as we are willing
lives lost before us,
as winter snow covers only what we see,
and we see so little.
We have yielded to this life
a part of us which does not long
for comfort or warmth,
that belongs in the cleansing cold
checking trap lines, reading signs
in the snow and the sky,
and what have we kept?
What shall we hold sacred
through these long winters of the blood?
Tonight I hold only bourbon
and walk alone as the Great Bear
tilts crazily overhead.
I curse comfort, warmth, and whiskey
and feel the past move too clearly
along the fine ridges of my bones.