Tag Archives: “Burning the Ditches”


                            …not likely wanting to be anywhere
                            or anyone else.

                                    – Jim Harrison (“Burning the Ditches”)

One wonders when we die, when we give up
the ghost to let it rise like smoke, if we will be
satisfied with life, or free from the heavy flesh

that has confined our spirit in a back room,
relieved to be among the angels yearning
to roll in the dirt, like empty saddle horses do.

Keeping a balance of sins and virtues is an
accountant’s nightmare, and how to measure
envy and pleasure subject daily to the ticker

tape others profit by. We’ve come too far
too fast, aged too quickly with no way back
to the innocence we left gazing at possibility,

before we left the farm to come to town
to get an education, to get the girl or guy,
to get ahead and get away from just getting by.

But there are places for old eyes yet to redeem
their wanderings, where Harrison’s bear
can be himself, and teach us how to live.