On the porch like night peelings, bags of red hackles. The fisherman is dressing, capes of moose mane around him. In his vise, he wraps the waist of a minnow with chenille. We wade downstream. I am barefoot. The fisherman stands, thigh deep, seining insects. Perhaps today in this blizzard of cottonwood it is the caddis that...

The wind is howling. But also mewling. Ornate wicker feelings rip loose and tear off down valley. Cabin: half buried in snow. Bed springs: if I were dead these would still creak. Blankets: could use another. A bruised light through lace curtains, maybe a baby’s finger of bourbon in the bottle. Something small’s...

Predator eye honed, since turning BB-gun-five, to its feathered edge, I catch the ruffed grouse flashing its neon-red failure to blend into the November gray- black bed of quaking aspen leaves matching the bird’s mottled jacket not quite exactly. It cocks its head, eyes me up and down, crouches, stretches, sets sleek-plumed for the raucous launch that trips...

Along the trail I think how risky the venture, the signs that say don’t go alone into bear country. I can see miles except in aspen. Walking uphill in sage I think of Yellow Woman, of the stranger who finds her and takes her into another life. It’s after that,...

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.[gallery link="file" ids="10387"]...

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...