Some days clouds drift over the canyon, horsetails, bits of high cotton. In the afternoon, then, the sky quickens, tumbles — a dark creek crashing down the mountain. Other days from ridge to ridge there’s only a high, dry, guileless blue, and you can fairly hear the meadow grass breathe. You could say, I...

As a consequence of moving forward The river bottom stirred,     unwound, then circled your ankles downstream. I had to wrap my fingers     around either side of hawthorn to steady against spring run-off. Stoneflies broke     into shaky flight. I laid orange peels     beside their split, grey husks.     Lost sight of you mending into a...

Under a winter’s worth of melting snow, Swan Lake is a fresh sheet of rice paper   and the half-sunk round of larch charred from an ice fisherman’s fire   the precise place the Great Poet rested her ink-wet brush momentarily   before raising it, and abandoning the poem for the view. ...

Wilderness In all this American marital wasteland we could  have lost everything. I’m so thankful we didn’t end up dying without having found each other, without striving  to know one another  more generously, not unlike  scaling the face of the Beartooths where beyond the last grip of roots and shale wolverines lip the far ridge and disappear into no man’s...

Deep Hidden Meaning,  Deep Hidden Morning, on Mute Letter by penciled letter, graphite, biting into the cellulose molecular make-up of lined notebook paper, amplifies almost too much Stratocaster guitar clamor. Window slid open, not one syllable, not one decibel, not one sixteenth note trickles through a single square of screen mesh above this desk. Insect...

We Are the Ones  for Dezmond   Waiting. A syllable: forming, generating energy in small, dark masses: marrow, stem cell, neuron. Waiting to come alive again in this tiny body. Guwa — you should learn this is the word between you and I,  my son, hokshina.                  ...

Aspen, arrowroot, agate. Bitterroot, bear grass, barking squirrel, Camas, Clark’s nuthatch. Devil’s club. Deer Lodge, Drummond, Eye of the needle. Emigrant weeds. Finch. Fireweed. Flatbow people. Glacier lilies among gray wolves. Happy birthday, lover of Indian paintbrush while Just another June sends endless rain along the Kootenai. Of silver glaciers,  Lewis’s woodpecker I sing. Lost Creek. Magpie....

It will take you there & beyond. Past the twelve thousand year old Anzick Child aglow in red ochre. Past the fallen barn praying on its knees in the basin. At the county line A ghost house looks  for its people. The Ringling Church celebrates its loneliness. The depot has died. In winter the whiteouts tell you to turn back but you go on, believing you’re on...