Looking for a Poem


I went looking for a poem beyond
the homesteaders gate,
through the tenacious Knapweed
and Blister-Rusted White Pine
between Barkbeetle
chewed forests.
I’ve searched for poetry
in the day-glow slashes
under fat Cuttroats,
gill hooked prematurely,
through high altitude cathedrals,
along scribbled stream beds.
I thought I saw one hanging upside down
from a skillet-shaped glacier
folded in a massif.

I almost caught up with a verse
blowing by in the frangible snow,
scoring a deadpan pasture
in February.
I’ve watched them turn cartwheels,
stuck in the barbs of tumbleweeds
rolling south
in a northerly wind.

A stanza paused briefly
for me one evening,
just over an uneven rim of sandstone
cauterized by the sun.
There were a few lines
tangled as a bird nest
in the crook of a Larch limb
that I couldn’t reach
and I thought I saw one once,
resting on the flat sawn stump
of an old growth cedar.

I spied a quatrain crouched
up on a ledge overlooking
an ancient inland sea
and found one while
star gazing through tears,
floating in the Big Dipper.
I’ve glimpsed several
stretched out comfortably
on the breath of a sleeping dog.

I started looking under stones for poetry,
which retreated from the light
through the moist soil
as fast as any night crawler
and there was that poem
I watched drift with the dust
after you drove away.


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