Showing posts from September, 2017

Lost in Space

One Autumn I strolled with strangers Beneath crab apple and fuzzed quince trees And asked,  "Do you know what this is?" Their replies, Surfed the cooling winds, Mischievous hand ruffling a cat's sleeping back, "Perhaps a pearapple?" Meanwhile clouds shuffled overhead Scent of apples, Fermenting in the patching sun, Buckeyes dotting the ground, Begging to be palmed and pocketed. It struck me, I once considered this day holy, Week after week, Year upon year, The beauty of holiness revolving around Saturday, Shabbat, Sabado. And more sacred still, Those bound afternoons of trails beckoning- Of cedar and cataract Multnomah and Oneonta Oxalis and Trillium... Rigid hours softening Into seasons and senses, Time put back in its proper place, A salmon come home to spawn.

Clackamas Holy

Growing up in Oregon City, Oregon, words like Clackamas and Willamette rolled off the tongue and stuck deep to bone. They were natural and comfortable, breathing out canoeing sprees in July or school field trips to the old James River paper mill. As kids we’d pack up in the car on Saturdays and head out to grandma and grandpa’s farm in Molalla or head over to Oneonta gorge on particularly hot summer days after church. Thirty miles north stood Celilo Falls, which we’d never actually seen due to construction of The Dalles dam, but my sisters and I begged for stories about dad driving up to buy salmon from the Natives on the weekend. We’d press our faces against the glass on long trips to Walla Walla and imagine the magnificent cascades roaring next to us, Celilo people perching on their platforms, waiting for rock battered salmon to leap into their dipnets. I invented a game called ‘Imagine When’ because of stories like this. Names and places had little conscious inspiration for t