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Archive for poem

Poem – From the Marathon

The poem “From the Marathon” from the reading on 05/04/14.

This piece is part of a larger work titled “Marathon Through Open Fields”.


I awoke running through snowy fields,
the bison lumbering with frozen noses and hanging breath
the autumn wheat dusted with snow,
weighed down from ice pellets
they do not budge when I run past.

The marathon continues
down a path I do not know
I have never been here before.

My legs burn. I stop for a moment
near the river’s edge with ice along
the bank, reeds are frozen in time.

Even a breeze upon my chilled face,
does not move them. Near the horizon
over the willow trees reach, ravens
are suspended in mid-flight.

Not a whisper.

Poem – One Truth

The poem “One Truth” from the reading on 05/04/14.


The rain filled dharma is still dharma.

Rain falls in fields of white snow.
If the snow is one truth,
what happens when the snow melts
what happens to the truth?

It becomes the earth.

No matter the state of being
the state of mind the dharma
exists across the empty field.

Clouds touch the moon.
I cover the moon with my thumb.

Light rains upon the
fields I walk across.

Poem – What We Must Do

The poem “What We Must Do” from the reading on 05/04/14.


We found remains
not of the day or night
not of the moon or sun
but of something more
primal and of the earth
and soil carrying its voice
from pastures to fields
to the winter beds.

The remains we found of
creatures roaming
the open space
the land born of themselves.

Searching snow covered grounds
a rake is used like a ship
dredging a canal, but
at the surface, gentle
tugs, attention paid to
the amount of resistance,
the emitted sound when metal
hits a rock, dried wood,
or what I am looking for.

When a brownish blur
catches my eye through cattails
I know I am done.
It’s time to return
you to earth.

2x4s laid in the snow
covered dirt road, away
from low hanging pine limbs
and prairie grasses.

I place your rib cage upon
the altar, sprinkle gasoline
and say a few words
before throwing the match.

Author Focus – John Haines

I first learned of John Haines while taking a class at the Loft Literary Center a few years ago.  From the first poem I was hooked.  I have every book of his, some first editions, and one signed that I was fortunate to find.

Mr. Haines also wrote many essays about nature, the world at large, and his view from a small rustic cabin located outside of Fairbanks, AK.

Mr. Haines was born on June 29, 1924 and passed away on March 2, 2011. I sadly never got the chance to meet him in person, but continue to read his books and write pieces about him and be inspired by the raw, simple, and powerful pieces he created.

I am particularly fond of “Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer” for poetry and “Fables and Distances” for his essays.

Below are his most easily found books on Amazon.

Cover Title Publisher
51JKNEG1A6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Alaska Wilderness Graywolf Press (March 1, 2000)
41HH5DF4X9L._SY300_ Living Off the Country: Essays on Poetry and Place (Poets on Poetry) University of Michigan Press (January 1, 1982)
519H1KF17PL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems Graywolf Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1993)
51VY8F0C6ZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ For the Century’s End: Poems 1990-1999 (Pacific Northwest Poetry) University of Washington Press (January 1, 2001)
41IYJ6ABaDL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ At the End of this Summer: Poems, 1948-1954 Copper Canyon Press (September 1, 1997)
41TJ0EFWEQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Fables and Distances: New and Selected Essays Graywolf Press (January 1, 1996)
51DeUhh44TL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ News from the Glacier: Selected Poems, 1960-1980 Wesleyan (April 1, 1982)
51IZ0uavIYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Stone Harp (Wesleyan Poetry Program) Wesleyan (July 1, 1971)