Beyond Crooked Man's Gulch

He walks to nowhere sometimes.  Just beyond the crooked man's gulch and the bend in the gravel where the street lights stop, he goes to weigh the world.  His parents could not say why, why their son has often stopped to hold a weight not largely his own, and sigh at its breadth and beauty.   He enlists the night to help him.  A certain emptiness is required to access the weight and while he speculates often about the desert one must cross to reach the prairie he agrees that the evacuation seems natural.  As the roads go from highway to lit pavement to gravel and dark dirt he unfastens the adornments of his day and sets them lightly to the roadside.  In the cold he shudders, he lifts trees from the ditch, he inverts them and stores them in his chest.  He senses these lungs become the same temperature as the skin on his bare arms and knows they've rooted well. If all this around him were forest trails to a lake where god was standing in wait, this may be a baptism.

Over Virginia

Yesterday I spent the evening jetting across the sky at forty thousand feet, in that space where the hallmark, anvil-shaped cells of meteorlogical fundamentals blast into the higher strata of atmosphere. They ascended from the cloud floor as a series of towers, the lot of them stretching hundreds of miles to the east.  The sun burned them orange and their folds and crevasses seemed permanent and unyielding.  One passed beneath us, eerily close, and I had no instinct for it, no lessons from the ancient plains or sevannas.  Smiling, I regarded them perilous, in the same league as dark bergs looming in the sea.

Love Letter to MN

As a boy my parents would load my two older brothers and I into our family’s big, dusty conversion van and huff it northbound, toward Duluth or Grand Marais or the Boundary Waters. We would cliff jump in Voyageur National Park and make pitiful attempts at fishing everywhere we could. We accidentally swam with snapping turtles, we pedaled down the State Park bike trails and my deep love for biology took root sometime in those early years, little fingers digging in creeks and mud pits for the creatures hidden there. You find quickly, traveling elsewhere in the U.S., that not everyone grows up with Gooseberry Falls, bonfires, eagles, moose, or mallards. We have eleven thousand lakes at our choosing and usually, our neighbors are good enough to share what they have. Our state is a cathedral to life in which we have the privilege of fellowship.

How Many Times

how many times have we missed this?
this invinceable night that calls
and i have to believe we all come running
knowing the moment is fragile and fleeting