Month: June 2012

At the risk of repeating myself

It’s always a little too something or other
On the plains
Too windy, Too cold, Too foggy, Too gloomy
Too cowy
We sink into the depression of
Light deprivation.
Snow and ice debilitating.

We cling to the hope of spring
Or even a long mild fall.
Seems we go from 50 mph winds and snow
To tornados
To excessive heat warnings.

Too hot, too buggy, too muggy
To Snow.

We huddle in our houses or offices.
Those of us lucky enough to work in offices.
paralyzed in our climate controlled cars
we sit in stifled traffic
a breakdown resulting in broiling in a kiln
Windows at home,
Drapes drawn against the agonizing sauna.
Staring at the beautiful green lawns and trees
Shriveling to brown in the roasting of July.

Still a little too dark, too humid
A little too depressing with the drapes drawn.
And the winds should arrive just about the time
I get the laundry on the line
Too dusty, too dirty.

A sunblizzard.


I wake when I hear
His midnight coughing
I stumble to his bed
Rub his back
Pat his head
I dribble water drops
On his tongue
It’s the pollen, dust, smoke
The heat and bad DNA.
He looks into my eyes
His own rheumy and sorrowful.

“I don’t Know why you cough
So much
It’s just the way some of us are
It makes you a compassionate being.”

he’ll smile his odd grimace, and

I rub his tummy and ears.
Until he’s calmer and the cough is

He licks my hand.
He knows I can’t help him
He can’t help me.

But together we watch
a crescent blood moon
Rest into red rising haze.

Miasma in the West
Miasma was considered to be a poisonous vapor or mist filled with particles that caused illnesses. The Miasmatic position was that diseases were the product of environmental factors such as contaminated water, foul air, and poor hygienic conditions. Such infection was not passed between individuals but would affect individuals who resided within the particular locale that gave rise to such vapors.

i shouldn’t but I do

Just about all the time.
I’m as nervous as a cat
In a room full of
Pine rockers aflame.

It shouldn’t 

but the mountain fires

make me even more edgy.
I don’t want
To write about fires.
I don’t want
To see new plumes
Rising from the
South or West.
I don’t want to
Turn on the police scanner.
Or check the news.
Or hear the sirens on
The highway.
I don’t want to hear Al Gore’s
Truths in my head.

But I do.
And I do.

I want to stop thinking
About the number of 105 degree
Days remaining in
A summer none of us
Can see our way through.
For the thick ash and smoke.
Like a slow volcanic eruption.

I can’t.

I close my eyes
When I drive over the
Platte river.
I don’t want to see
It drying to sand.

the sun fades to orange

at 5 pm.
My eyes burn.

Seems to be a trend.
The forests and prairie
Ignite at the sneeze of  bumblebee.

if bumblebees sneeze.

I went to college.
Lots of college.
I took every class ever

 intellectually, I Know

The forests and grasslands must burn.
It is Nature’s Way.
we have grown too large

we are in Her Way.

We are miserable stewards
Of our gift of Eden.

Now we are east of there.

 the endless Chinook south wind
Smells of burnt hay, pine, yucca, sagebrush.

I close my eyes.
But I can still see.
I can still smell.
I can feel the falling

fire side

Rachel basks in the chilly Pacific
With a terrible cold
Buoyed by Nyquil and sudafed
She holds out her cell phone
So I can hear OregonOcean sirens sing.

Colorado burns. Mountains of Olympic Torches
Send people, moose, deer, bear, coyotes, snakes
Like slurry toward the Plains
They are refugees
Like pioneers of old.
From Fort to Fort.
Running the opposite way
this era.

From Rockies to Nebraska
Smoke shrouds a sultry summer
That began in March
Snow failed to fall through the winters
And beetles killed the prized spruce trees
Scientists say Climate Change and Global Warming.
Sometimes, I think, the forest must burn in order to live.
As the Oceans must rage.
But it’s not something we puny humans are prepared
To face without Benadryl and Dayquil.

It’s a war zone here
Military Blackhawks, Air Tankers
fly over to refuel at our tiny airport
The size of a church parking lot,
They must land on the highway.
The smoke is too thick to find the city airports.
There’s fighting too. An armycity of tent dwellers
Live, breathe, and fight the tide of flames.
While we watch on tv, as we do all wars,
peeking through our fingers.

So the City people come in hordes to
My little Fort.
They drive too fast in their BMWs and SUVs
asking for Sushi and Calamari.
We make fun of them.
pointing towards the drying Platte River.
That’s where we get ours.

Funny, we can tell who is from this tiny town
And who isn’t
How one woman can slice another
Into fragments as she sails by.
I wear frumpy, paisley muumuus from The Goodwill.
My hair is an odd reddish brown from coloring it with
Natural henna.
I can see The Smoke Runners making fun of me, too.

She slowed as she swayed past my modest
All in a row brick house.
I saw her $100 frosted haircut and foolish scarlet nails.
I’m the lucky one. My lawn green. Trees mostly intact.
Freshly painted fence like a wall around me.
I saw the injury in her eyes
She has nothing left but her silly haircut.
And useless acrylic nails.
She stops in search of a smokeless place to spend the day
With her kids, dogs, ferrets, cats.

I offer her a glass of ice water.
And she melts down onto my
Coarse Pasturish Lawn.
I hold a weeping stranger with no name.
thick forest smoke in her hair and clothes reeks
It makes my eyes tear up.
She cries. until like all women,
salty water extinguishes anguish.
She feels brave again.
She quickly drives away.

The sky cries too,
grayellow all day.
Pink at sunset.
Ash intermittently.

I text Rachel
Bring a sea shell.
Back over the continental Divide.
For luck.

Rachel’s Seaside Poem