Packsaddle Off

what is this sound sprinkling glow
yellow doilies weaving thru blue
fescue glass chandelier worm atrium
air city surf gas soup & jazz salad

sitting under dwarf apple waiting,
waiting, wanting nothing save
green this wait as Thoreau’s
Wangle Dangle backyard rhetoric

drinking can of Okanagan
Spring: “natural, simple, & pure”
pale ale & all bronze
gone Henry’s lawn

this dog’s lair
cut once a year
then go to seed
rampant & wild
tainted ear

so much depends upon so little
take this green garden wagon
for example
go on, take it, really take it
grab the handle and pull
you’ll see the wagon is full
of ripe red tomatoes
kids’ toys
bucket of finished garlic
bowl of basil & cilantro
some zinnias to dry inside

there’s no one in that pink
ceramic bird house hanging
from the golden rain
tree imagine living
there your nest
waiting for your mate
come home yr turn
go to store & supper

you call the kids
Caw! Caw!
& they call back
Not Yet! Not Yet!
Summer! Summer!

a cloud like a clown down
pillow on clean blue sheet
perhaps it will drop a load
somewhere near soon &
sweep weep sleep deep

A Pepper & Tomato Graphic Story

Slide cursor over or click photo for text.

Susan Among the Zen Monks in the Gorge

Upper Multnomah FallsOne summer, we drove into the Gorge to view the falls. There are several falls along the way. Multnomah Falls is the tallest, and is now a major tourist attraction, complete with gift shop, food carts, and a fancy restaurant where a few years ago Rachel Ray filmed a segment of a food show. Summer falls, and it’s hot in town and in the Gorge, but the mist from the falls is cool.

There are two falls at Multnomah Falls, an upper and a lower. To get to the pool at the upper falls, you hike a switchback trail up to an old bridge. The pool below the upper falls is now off limits, but you can view the upper falls and the pool below from the bridge. We used to climb down the trail and wade into the pool, but you can’t do that any more. Wading into the pool, you could get soaking wet just from the mist from the falls. The falls don’t take the place of waves, the smell of salt-water breezes. In the Gorge, in the summer, if there’s no wind, the air seems thick and heavy, but if you take the old highway, you pass along cliffs of shade and green fern groves growing under the fir trees. And the falls are always a cool surprise.

Lower Multnomah FallsAnyway, this last time we stopped at Multnomah Falls, Susan decided not to make the switchback hike to the top. On my way up, I passed a group of men coming down. Their heads were shaved. They wore robes and sandals. I didn’t think much of it; monks, I assumed. I nodded as we passed on the trail. When I got to the bridge, I spent some time looking at the upper falls and turned around and crossed the bridge to look down on the lower falls and below to the trailhead to try to spot Susan. And there she was, sitting on a stone bench, surrounded by the monks. I waved and waved some more and finally caught her attention, and she waved back, and all of the monks waved too. I took a picture of her in the middle of the monks, all waving. Then they all stopped waving and went back to talking with Susan. Later, Susan told me they were Zen monks. And this morning I’ve spent probably 30 minutes looking for that photo. Alas, it seems to have disappeared. I think in a past life Susan may have been a Zen monk who attained enlightenment.