My Beautiful Life

          “I prefer the absurdity of writing poems to the absurdity of not writing poems.” From Possibilities by Wislawa Szymborska   My Beautiful Life I walked alone this afternoon. October’s velvet light slipped through The shade of a Big Leaf Maple And tattooed my arms with shadow.   Erratic winds stirred the branches And … More My Beautiful Life

Autumn Slips Forward

Autumn slips into place without a sound. One leaf, then another bleeds color at its edge. At first glance, I wonder, is that tree diseased? On succeeding days, the contagion spreads throughout an entire branch. Silently, the season tattoos foliage with melancholy. Autumn slips forward with the quiet magic of chemistry. Daylight declines and temperatures cool. … More Autumn Slips Forward

Family Matters …

Early in the winter, successive storms sailed into Oregon. Frigid air stalled their advance and they dropped anchor in the Columbia River Gorge. Walking became difficult. Deep powder clogged the sidewalks and pedestrians were forced to use the street. There, danger lurked as traffic packed the snow and hid slicks of ice. As with most Northwest … More Family Matters …

Notes To My Grandson

On the day you arrived, temperatures dropped into the single digits. A winter storm had battered Northwest Oregon for three days. Feathers of dry snow fell in the mountains and throughout the Columbia Gorge. The Hood River Valley, which is named for the town that would be your home, rested under a thick white blanket. … More Notes To My Grandson

The Towhee

            The Towhee Needles of sleet fell all throughout the night           And the towhee pecks at the hardened crust,     Seeking the moist carpet of leaves below.       But it is too deep. Only the memory         Of his … More The Towhee

Indian Summer

In Oregon, the year’s most reliably pleasant weather occurs during Indian Summer. Today, on the eve of my 70th birthday, I strolled along the waterfront of the Columbia. The prevailing westerlies have lost their enthusiasm. This morning, the river laid flat. Paddle boarders cruised the smooth surface under a cloudless blue sky. Elsewhere, the convergence … More Indian Summer

Picking Blueberries

  Recently, my wife and I visited a U-pick blueberry farm in the upper Hood River Valley. Our son and granddaughter joined us to help with the harvest. Upon arrival, mourning doves crooned in the surrounding forest. A smear of clouds waltzed across the summer sky. An acre of mature bushes, loaded with ripe fruit, beckoned.  … More Picking Blueberries

Buying Time

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam Morning: I wash dishes. In front of me, through a window opening to the east, I watch a nuthatch spiral up the trunk of our lilac bush. Rays of sunlight pierce the trembling leaves, and the bird’s eyes wink like sequins. Later, I’d … More Buying Time