Monday, December 31, 2018












The Face Of A Dictator

( take your pick )

All that has made you

Sick in the past

Is present


Turn off everything —

Hear all the animals



Bean poles

Branch the


Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018

Friday, December 28, 2018

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Monday, December 24, 2018


Don’t Ask Me Where

The day we took all the back roads for the first time

And ended on many of the roads with a road that

Dwindled down to next to nothing, first returning us

To a wilder state, then grass, then a dead end was the

Day we went places and couldn’t stop talking about it

They've Been Told

Whenever people come

traveling down our

winding woods

river back road

they've been told

to look for a

landmark —

“a red house”

not ours but

they stop at our

red house



and we get

to visit for

a moment with

people heading

somewhere else


the maze built for children

a week ago is gone, taken away

but the circular grass of their

padded footsteps is here

Truck Lights

Every night and never

dusk but pitch dark a

truck comes up our dirt

back road in slow low

gear and now with mud

season we can really hear

the truck grind and I know

it is the same truck by the

string of lights on top of

the cab and I’ve let it go

past minding my own

business until it started

going by once and then

it was twice and now it is

three times and even my

wife hears the truck plowing

by very slowly at 4AM when

she normally awakens and

starts to work, rebuilding a

wood fire, finding her socks

and now I see peering out the 

window as the truck passes

it may be a dump truck and

why is it going round and

round each time on the hour —

no one knows and we know no

one to ask — it’s all deep dark

woods where the truck comes

through — it’s become a world

all its own

Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Saturday, December 22, 2018


translated by J. G. Nichols

Hesperus Press

Friday, December 21, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018


Palominos Near Tuba City

In the desert of burning dreams, of armadillo and centipede,

I would call this night pitch dark back home

I would watch for any star to pass into dream song

or point of light called planet to whirl and twist like

a tiny pinwheel swallowing me to its vanishing point.

Here under pewter sky with words out of breath

I chase poems down like wild mares into fenced corrals

I watch close calls with wisdom rear and kick

against the fences of good judgment.

I used to think the skies brought them home,

thundering hooves and swollen bellies, ready to speak

and fire the dry bony floor, sulphuric aroma real as rain.

But now, the horses of white lightning gallop toward me;

afraid of nothing, they rush with an eye for hesitation

ready to brush up against my heart with their horse madness.

Here, it is the rider standing in the wavering heat, erect

and indisputable as a lightning rod braced in the open.

I stand my ground and wait, ready to hold on for dear life.


Denis Sweet
Palominos Near Tuba City
New & Selected Poems
Holy Cow! Press, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018




For weeks it was our weather,

Clouding the air for days,

A fine bright storm that billowed

Over barns and feedlots,

Making all the livestock shine,

The horses one color.

And like luck I wanted it to last,

To have it there each morning

When I milked, the stalls

And stanchions shining,

The udders all dust with light.


Afterward everything hung in perfect balance. Light and

dark, heaven and hell. We weighed our words carefully and

never went outside. We just wandered the house, one desolate

room after another, afraid anything we'd say, even the

slightest comment, would bring the day crashing to the

floor. And so finally we settled on no words at all, and lost

ourselves in little things — watering the plants, straightening

the books on the bookshelves — both of us wondering how

long it could last. It was like some great scale, so fragile, so

delicately calibrated, even the dust was a factor, could tip

the day one way or another.


Here on this ridge

The only color

Left is you,

And soon you too will fade.

The spruce have long

Returned to birch,

and the birch

Are quietly

Turning to snow.

Robert Hedin
At the Great Door of Morning  
Copper Canyon, 2017

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


When They Sleep

All people are children when they sleep.

There's no war in them then.

They open their hands and breathe

in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.

They pucker their lips like small children

and open their hands halfway,

soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.

The stars stand guard

and a haze veils he sky,

a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.

If only we could speak to one another then

when our hearts are half-open flowers.

Words like golden bees

would drift in.

God, teach me the language of sleep.


Rolf Jacobsen
from At the Great Door of Morning / Robert Hedin
translated by Robert Hedin
Copper Canyon, 2017