Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and when he dies
                                   only the five senses that we know perish with him,
                                   and the other ninety-five remain alive.

                                             – Anton Chekhov (“The Cherry Orchard”)

The past walks here, all the dead
horses and livestock men grazing
a hundred and fifty springs—

all the promises and passion spilled
upon this wild mat of grass and flowers,
naked lovers idly pinching petals

along the creek for centuries
within the mottled shade
these same trees have cast, yet see

to keep alive. We have had
our moments here, left ourselves
so wholly that we rise and rest

among them, add our song
to the canyon, our cries to the sky
to forever make our home.


I’ve ordered the paper for a new chapbook I hope to put together on rainy days before Elko, instead of the larger collection with a working title of BEST OF THE DRY YEARS, that I just wasn’t happy enough with to complete, needing yet the more normal perspective of some rain.

This poem and photo have appeared here previously, but not on the same page. HOMEMAKING is the title, this photo on the cover (as of this morning). I truly love formatting these chapbooks, rereading and editing some good poems in this one for the past two days.


3 responses to “HOMEMAKING

  1. I’ve always admired your connection to the past and reverence for the indigenous people. You too have become part of the history of the area.
    Much success with the chapbook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Richard. After making a living in a place for awhile, one gains respect for those who’ve lived there before him, for their observations and knowledge, myths and customs, all of which make living in the present tense richer.

      I like to think of each chapbook as a chapter, a landmark, a stake in the ground behind me, a place to begin again, the poetry released to stand on its own. There is a sense of accomplishment attached, of course. Small print runs and smaller sales pay for the paper and ink. How nice is that!


  2. Do you do your own binding also? To create something from dust, a wisp of smoke or fog, a bit of rain and the nature around you, just one sale proving it’s worth must bring a great sense of pride and validation. God has been good to you, my friend, and to those of us that have found you.


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