A rattlesnake coils among cold stones,
full of mice, waits for evening
when he will hunt again.
– Linda M. Hasselstrom (“Morning News
on Windbreak Road”)
No feast on Dry Creek, no dance among the trees –
no amount of words rhymed with earth will change
the arrogance of men primping in the light.
We do not breathe by their generosity, nor believe
they may, someday, be gods – saviors of a nation
always at war with what it can’t comprehend.
We have forgotten, perhaps we never heard
the silent mantra of the harvest strum in our heads –
hands busy, bodies bent, genuflecting in the dirt.
Or been of a tribe of men, women and communities
that still rise to raise a glass to that great expanse
that feeds us all we need, sparingly. Riding out
alone, do you remember conversations with living
and dead? Did you mark the granite outcrop,
hang words in an oak tree, or just let them loose
on a hawk’s wing? If only Jeffers’ perch-mates,
power and desire – not greed – might roost in
Washington, we’d dedicate his fountain to humanity.
* * * * * * * *
As the dust settles, I am reminded of Andy Warhol’s famous ’15 minutes of fame’ quote in 1968 after the hullabaloo of the recent NY Times’ piece,
‘For Cowboy Poets, Unwelcome Spotlight in Battle Over Spending’
Dry Crik Journal received nearly 4,000 visits and 14 assorted comments in the 3 days following. Not unwelcome because that’s what we’ve been about here, sharing, trying to offer glimpses of a grounded way of life that we think consists of a bit more than what’s assumed by the majority. The referenced Robinson Jeffer’s poem: ‘THE EXCESSES OF GOD’ is worth a read, wonderfully applicable. Linda Hasselstrom’s poem is forthcoming from Dry Crik Review.