23 July 2009

twitter poetry

Here are the Twitters that came out of a whole lot of hours driving in a car full of sleeping children. It might be a new genre of poem.

Road trip

The lake below Multnomah Falls is still. Deer at the edge stand in their reflections.

There's brown pelicans in the Columbia on a sandbar near Biggs.

Rock sheep on the cliffs near Philippi.

And windmill farms outside of Arlington.

Just past the Bradock Slough and there are fields of Black Angus and a row of white bee boxes.

Lake Bob.

Horses spook near Cement Plant Rd. A palamino bucks. The running herd turns in the field like birds.

I think it was a deer in the sagebrush with its elegant neck and ears like cupped palms.

The Ontario OreIda plant belches rings of white steam. Wonderland Caterpillar of Potato. I'm just a girl, I answer.

Corn. Corn. Wheat. Corn. Potatoes.

Boise. We wave our hands out the window to my friend Justin Larson. Of course he sees us.


Kristen says the sky is always the same dome but I think it reaches further down here. Down to the curve of the earth.

Four days later. The sun rises over Brigham City. Leaving Utah.

There's cows and sagebrush at Sweetzer Summit. And sun over the East hills.

Something you don't see at home: billboard of close-up dairy cow udders. Jerome, Idaho.

There are windmills at the 45th Parallel. Must be windy halfway between the North Pole and Equator.

The first time Becca saw the Columbia at Umatilla, she said, "That's not a river! It's a lake." Only the R's and L's were W's and she was 3.

Everything green.



12 July 2009

one bird at a time

A couple years ago, Joanna Rose and Stevan Allred reviewed some of my stories and offered practical direction and some needed encouragement. Given my own evaluation, I discourage myself to the extreme. I told them, "I quit every day."

Joanna gave me advice from Anne Lamott's book Bird by Bird: write it "one bird at a time."

I am stuck in the third and final section of my novel, baffled by some plot movement and my inability to get what is in my head out on paper. This one has been going around and around for the past month. With my August deadline just ahead, frustration is my muse.

Outside the open window, three Mourning doves chase each other to and from the corners of the yard and up to the rooftop. A competitive threesome. For territory? Mating ritual? Play? The whirring mutter of their wings reminds me of old-school sci-fi alien spaceships. Earlier, a black-headed Junco fed seed from the patio to a peeping juvenile. And the brilliant yellow goldfinches have been all day on the thistle feeder, undisturbed even by the antics of the doves.

A light rain begins. Silver drops collect and hang from the branches of the rhododendron. I am content to make another loop through this chapter. One page. One raindrop. One bird at a time.