Eastern Oregon Gothic (additions 22)

Health and wealth are on the decline while meanness is on the rise, showing the zombie in some people instead of the soul.

Drive on smaller highways and byways, see all the empty buildings calling out to be captured in your camera…careful you don’t get lost in the holes looking out…

It snows it April now, but doesn’t stick in the bowls & valleys that dot the landscape.

It rains on the east side the way it used to on the west side, but the ocean still beats at the shores…

Yetis have been welcomed by their Sasquatch kin in the woods high in the hills and mountains…other cryptids have been spotted on small-town streets late at night, from the corners of eyes.

Teenagers have stopped sneaking out at night; instead they surf the digital waves, becoming pixilated which makes life tougher when they can’t connect back to the analog reality.

Books have started moving in the library and the computers look like they’ve been taking hits—a war of words and information that’s bleeding into the day.

Poetry is on the rise. Teenagers who dig deep into words without sound around them to stop the magic from coming in…

All the colors are bleeding and the desert is drinking them in, changing the landscape something fierce: will the Courts know where they are when they come back?

Music is a language again. All on its own.

Celilo Falls is still there, under all that water…

Waiting for the fish & the spear-fishers to return.

Someday the concrete will be gone…

And the water will be free.

The Columbia calls to people in Boardman…they don’t always go to the home they came from.

One More

One who does not

Sleeps life away

Dreams the pages of books

Waits for one who does

One who does keeps going

Gets knocked down, And

Gets up again

Embracing best self bs

One does not want

One has needs

Buddha tells us to leave them

To sit, to breathe, to be

One loves through time

One loves with money

One loves with physical affection

Christ tells us to love all


I’m not sure what inspired me today, but my poetry students have started their big project. For three weeks, they write and write and write. While it’s admittedly cool to see a poem spring forth fully formed and almost perfect, it is not the reality we (writers) face. Today, I got to see one of my students as she worked hard on a poem–ideas, snatches of phrases and images, attempt after attempt to get four perfect lines. When she showed me those four lines, I got chills.

I love teaching people to think, to communicate in different ways–I love seeing the lightbulb go off above their heads.

Fifteen Minutes

I could come up with a list of excuses, some of them reasonable (most of them not). Anyone who takes the time to look back through my archive can see my spotty history with posting. I’m not sure if I can successfully make a habit out of it, but every time I fail is another chance to try again. After all, I’ll never get better at writing if I don’t do it regularly and push myself to get better at communication.

We are in week two of the new semester and I’m teaching poetry again. I love poetry.

I can admit that last semester was not by best by a wide margin. And, again, I could come up with a list of valid reasons that would just end up being excuses. I don’t want to excuse myself—I just need to do better.

Towards that end has come my challenge to my poetry students. I am asking them to write every day for fifteen minutes outside of school. There are no points for this. However, I know the stability and growth that will come to the ones who do it (and I’m doing it with them). The rules are easy:

  • Find a place to write
  • Try to stick to the same time of day
  • Set a timer for fifteen minutes
  • Write about whatever in whatever format

It’s going to take awhile to get back into a rhythm. Although, that holds true for most of the things I’d like to focus on for the next few months.