Books

Oregon’s reputation for tough winters suffered a setback in 2017/18. November, December, and January stretched like lazy cats across the blanket of the Northwest sky. They shed rain but mild temperatures prevailed beneath their sleepy overcast. On Mt. Hood, skiers lamented the lack of snow. In the valley below, orchardists fretted. They prefer harsh conditions … More Books

Why Things Happen

Why Things Happen For J. D. Riso   I listened to the rain fall for hours And read a mystery next to my cat, Both of us dismayed by the dark, wet sky.   I listened and read and accrued the clues Of how and who as to why things happen. I heard rainwater scampering … More Why Things Happen

Too Old To Die Young

“It’s just … it’s like it’s always right now, you know?” Mason from Boyhood  An inversion layer spreads over the Hood River Valley. Temperatures drop to the high 20s at night and creep into the mid-30s during the day. At elevation, upon the slopes of Mt. Hood, sunny skies prevail. But here, in the foothills, … More Too Old To Die Young

Wet Weather

“Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu In early November, wet weather arrived to cleanse the Hood River Valley. Seasonal debris in our yard glistened with rain. Oval blades of lilac nested with the serrated ellipses of cherry. The lobed margins of oak leaves tucked themselves into … More Wet Weather

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

Things Fall Apart

“There is no goal, but only the path.” Taoist saying   Recently, my wife and I traveled with friends to Glacier National Park. Our journey through the Northwest included a stop at the classic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. From there we visited historic lodges in Montana and Waterton Lake, Alberta. We dined in expansive … More Things Fall Apart

Child’s Play

In February, I bought an ukulele. The long winter depressed me. Furthermore, I’d become addicted to the dispiriting politics of our new president. His “amateur hour” buffoonery impairs reasoning. Like many Americans, I could not turn away. Music, I hoped, might help me kick the habit. Early on, my fingers ached. But a friend gave me advice … More Child’s Play

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