The Elko undercurrents
often missed by journalists,
the thoughtful streams
of love and long respect
retained for old friends—
those profound associations
not secreted away,
but obvious.

My right hand offered
held in his both
as he contemplates
my eyes, and I his.
We breathe deeply.

Two gray old men
standing silent,
face to face
stretching time
within a loud crowd,
we block the aisle
beside a tableful of friends,
warm food and wine.

We know we are rare
birds in these fast times,
reading, writing poetry—
reaching for what we know
exists: like the language
of horses, cattle and people
who live on the land
it takes a lifetime to learn
and understand.

                                  for Joel Nelson


6 responses to “AT MACHI’S

  1. Watch who you’re callin’ old!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John, the warmth of this poem glows from the screen. Deeply touching.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good and thank you, Susanne. Initially, my poem was in response to a recent piece about the Gathering in the NY Times, hung-up on a mythic West that completely misses what Elko means to me and many others. All good, I still like the poem and eating at Machi’s every chance I get while in Elko.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read that piece in the Times and the link to the one you shared from the Guardian. I thought the Guardian’s went deeper into the community connections and I came away from reading it with a sense of the bonds formed through the work and life.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You got it, Susanne, the Times piece left me feeling like we were specimen in a high school biology class… and I guess in the Big Apple we are.


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