The Write Question

A weekly literary program from Montana Public Radio that features writers from the western United States.

The Write Question podcast

"Song of the Powers"

Aug 10, 2015
Bonnie Brezette

Mine, said the stone,
mine is the hour.
I crush the scissors,
such is my power.
Stronger than wishes,
my power, alone.

Mine, said the paper,
mine are the words
that smother the stone
with imagined birds,
reams of them, flown
from the mind of the shaper.

Mine, said the scissors,
mine all the knives
gashing through paper’s
ethereal lives;
nothing’s so proper
as tattering wishes.

About the book:

Andrea Gabriel / Sasquatch Books

Why Do I Sing? is a board book filled with soft watercolor images, painted by Andrea Gabriel, of honeybees, spotted owls, Pacific tree frogs, fin whales, loons. crickets, marmots, red-winged blackbirds, arctic wolves, and meadowlarks. Jennifer Blomgren has written a four-line poem for each vocalist.

"Deer Dance"

Aug 3, 2015
Jim McIntosh

This morning
when the chill that rises up from the ground is warmed,
the snow is melted
where the small deer slept.
See how the bodies leave their mark.
The snow reveals their paths on the hillsides,
the white overcrossing pathways into the upper meadows
where water comes forth and streams begin.
With a new snow the unseen becomes seen.
Rivers begin this way.

About the book:

At a young age, Jessie Close struggled with symptoms that would transform into severe bipolar disorder in her early twenties, but she was not properly diagnosed until the age of fifty.

"Wool Blanket"

Jul 27, 2015

I slept in the valley
shivering, neck sore
from carrying a dead tree
across my shoulders

I needed the wood
but more
I needed the pain

Raccoon wind
shudders brittle leaves
as when you get a sudden chill
and they say:

"someone has just walked
across your grave"

Twig snaps  –
& I burrow deeper
wishing I had brought
that wool blanket

glad, almost,
that I didn't

The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur, is a mystery novel in which a successful lawyer is pulled back into her troubled family’s life in rural Montana in the wake of her sister’s death.

About the book:

"It's Shifts Of Sideways If She Talks To You"

Jul 20, 2015
Hettle Price

For the teenager certain she is ugly, it's shifts
of sideways if she talks to you. Words
drop out of her mouth. She tries to get behind herself

and squeeze down
to a gash in the ground.
Oh she would love to roll from her skin

and disgust you. And stick it, yeah, to your candy pity.
She takes a deep breath
and throws her hair around like rocks.

Review of 'Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?'

Jul 15, 2015

Eve Bunting's book, Have You Seen My New Blue Socks chronicles the life of a young duck trying to find a pair of misplaced socks. When I read this story to the fussy 3-year old I encountered in the Buttercup Market, a quaint cafe with fantastic quiche, he delighted in the colorful illustrations of Sergio Ruzzier and almost immediately forgot why he was throwing a tantrum to focus on the task at hand: finding the lost socks belonging to duck.

Carol Bradley, author of Last Chain on Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top, talks about the cruel lives of circus elephants and what we can do to stop it.

About the book: