Top: Jim Wells, Leroy Whitney, Scott Erickson. Middle: Jack Erickson, Kyle Loveall, Gary Davis, Jr., Forrest Homer, Mehrten Homer, E. J. Britten, Earl McKee, Jr. Bottom: Clarence Holdbrooks, John Dofflemyer, Craig Thorn III.


Ever so gentle, these waves of wild oats—

easy undulations into the wide swath

of bright-yellow White Mustard


in the disturbed ground

where we fed bulls

drought after drought.


If ever I could reinvent myself

as easily with storm after storm,

shake the slow walk and run


with breath aplenty, mind sharp.

Hazy days of snapshots flashing

uninvited or young among old men


now gone in the photograph

of the branding crew Rochelle took

when Craig was still alive


hanging on the bathroom wall

with south slopes of pure gold,

wet spring after the Drought of 1977.


Ever so gentle, these waves of memory,

stories only searching names,

ever so gentle, they come to me.




8 responses to “THEY COME TO ME (aka “WILD OATS”)

  1. Pearl Fairman Maxner

    Sweet forever memories. I had a crush on Jim Wells in elementary school. My Dad wanted me to marry Mehrten “Tookie” Homer (he didn’t know I existed), Earl’s music still rings in my soul, and I sang at Craig’s funeral. Sweet, gentle memories indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amazing, isn’t it? And somehow those ‘in the moment’ flashes, though divergent, seem to tie themselves together on familiar paths in our minds. Thanks, Pearl, for your comment!


  2. Waves of memories…God’s gift to us!


  3. Fantastic imagery! Thanks.


  4. Wow, John. This speaks to me so profoundly. Getting old can be so fucking sad. I hope you are both well. I think of you often. There is some chance that John Grant is going to visit us in May. But I’ll believe it when I see him. Thinking of you and missing the old days in Elko. Marla


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