MTPR

Monday Poems

'Burn'

Jun 27, 2016
Lost Horse Press

by Katrina Roberts

A tower of bales suddenly aflame in Yakima makes
news. Not dry enough, a static flash, indeterminate

cause, though vast lost. Next day, crisp grass beneath
the Ford so he slicks it off. But these things, like sparks

from exhaust—we understand them. What of the wick
effect, spontaneous combustion of human flesh: torso

and arms consumed; bare skull, lower legs intact, rooms
left relatively uncharred while the TV-watcher flares,

'Spirit'

Jun 6, 2016
Cover Art: Russell Chatham "Hayfields on the Cottonwood Bench," 2004. Oil, 36" x 48". / Copper Canyon Press

by Jim Harrison

Rumi advised me to keep my spirit
up in the branches of a tree and not peek
out too far, so I keep mine in the very tall
willows along the irrigation ditch out back,
a safe place to remain unspoiled by the filthy
culture of greed and murder of the spirit.
People forget their spirits easily suffocate
so they must keep them far up in tree

Dave Pijuan-Nomura

by Joe Wilkins

Isn't it a shame, my grandmother said,
silver fork in her shivering fist,

how we have to go on eating?
We were sitting up to burnt chuck,

potatoes in their dirty jackets,
and hunks of Irish brown bread,

Medora 2013

For those who love it, and for those who've never heard of this classic bit of cowboy humor:

REINCARNATION
by Wallace McCrea

"What does Reincarnation mean?"
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, "It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life's travails."

'For Myself'

Apr 4, 2016
Bill Walsh

by Lois Red Elk

This day, I adorn braided
sweet grass earrings handed
down from Mother's Santee
rings of aromatic medicine.

From the ancestor lands of
Father's Lakota family, I fill
pockets with handfuls of
cedar, my protective shield.

Into this circle of morning
spirit food, a prayer surfaces
from the Southern recess of
primal night-dwelling dreams.

I thank the Western powers,
where a mirror reflects
images of the ones I trust—
transparent photos of the

'Names on the Land'

Mar 28, 2016
Ed Dunens / creative commons

by Joe Wilkins

Freeze Out Notch

The breath of mountains
is dry grass and sloped fields
of winter wheat. Their eyes
are bedrock and ice.

Clearwater Canyon

Old men drink tall glasses
of yellow beer and stare
at themselves in the mirror.

Trailer Hollow

A red-winged blackbird
hops across the hood
of a red pickup.

Hog Meadows

'The Time of Irises'

Mar 21, 2016
cc: Gertrud K

by Jennifer Fallein

There is the dark one
with that sheen
of fluorescent green
the impossible color
of a male mallard's neck in sun.
And there is the salmon one

'rainy afternoon'

Mar 14, 2016
cc: leigh_east_photoman

by Lowell Jaeger

we lay with our legs entwined
breath to breath
mattress on the floor
candle-nub sputtering
on the nightstand

windows crying cold rain

our ghosts of persistent forebodings
we couldn't fend off
for long in the troubled face
of imminent consequence
headed our way...

'Insomnia'

Mar 7, 2016

by Bruce Morton

The shepherd has taken leave,
a no account. Wild
and wooly are the sheep,
coutless to the nth power—
flocking sheep, herds, hordes,
at warp speed,
insulating the crimped brain
from respite.

Instead,

'Life at the pace of Secola'

Feb 29, 2016
Secola
Sam Manno

Jet black, coal black, midnight black now unassuming but present.  Her walk strained, each step deliberate. Last winter her urine stained the snow red (ish) (brown).

Once a queen; at our last visit her herd no longer (recognizable); the favorite of Evelyn, not a favorite.

She outlived her usefulness (there), now just another to feed, emotions do not factor in
in a practical life.

Her life wrestled from death…from a bullet passing through the back of her skull to her mouth.

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