I read outrage from old hinterland poets
on Facebook to stir my blood, enflame
my brain, pretend that words might quell

injustice with compassion, find humanity
commonplace, or search old dialogues:
mountains, rivers and streams, for peace—

translations to bring home from foreign
lands and times that seem to work here
for a little while. I read to write

when I’m tongue-tied, lend my gravelly
voice to the ancient chorus and try
to sound nice, only to find assonance

puts most folks to sleep. No one needs
to read anymore, translate marks on paper
into better thoughts than when we started—

now that we have open minds and let
technology have its way with us, do it
all as we lay back to enjoy the ride.

No one needs to saddle-up in the dark,
untrack cold-backed broncs to mount
before going to work—they all had names

and personalities when we were boys.
No one needs to reach inside for more
than what we thought we had in those days.

                                                            for Red


8 responses to “WHEN WE WERE BOYS

  1. If your mind is too open, your brains can fall out! I’m a reader, but I know that many these days aren’t. And I can identify a little with those dark, early, cold mornings on horseback. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter Notehelfer

    Wendell Berry and Jim Harrison: two writers without whom for me the past, future, and the present would be inconceivable . . . Thanks for this great verse . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your words crackle and spark memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As long as our memories last or words on yellow pads
    the things we had as boys, from the boats we made from sticks
    to the majestic sight we saw, that first shot with a 22
    or the flowers we picked for maw
    in our minds they will live on… and then drift off into the clouds

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Caleb Pennebaker

    Not many of us need it anymore but there are still a few that want it bad enough that the line between want and need blurs…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lord save us from technology and give us strength to listen to the peaceful dialogues of mountains, rivers, and streams. Love the sharp wit in the line “try to sound nice, only to find assonance
    puts most folks to sleep.” This is a poem to read and reread.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.