Way of the Mountain #179

After being named poet laureate of Colorado’s Western Slope, it’s been wonderful to hook up with poet laureate of the Colorado Springs region, Jim Ciletti. David Mason of that same area is Colorado’s state poet laureate. My good friend Joan Logghe is poet laureate of Santa Fe (her new book, “The Singing Bowl,” from the University of New Mexico Press in Albuquerque, is a dazzler). California’s poet laureate was a classmate of mine in the writing department of San Francisco State, Carol Muske-Dukes. And finally, Elle Metrick of Norwood (who’s editor of the local paper, the Post) has taken the baton from Rosemerry Wahtola-Trommer and is the new San Miguel County poet laureate. It’s a nice way to honor poets who are often invisible to the community at large. This puts them out in the public eye. If your town or county wants to create such an honorary position, get a hold of me at poetry@mountaingazette.com and I can send you some draft resolutions.

This month’s featured book and poet is Norman Shaefer’s “The Sunny Top of California: Sierra Nevada Poems & A Story (La Alameda Press, Albuquerque, 2010). It’s beautifully designed by master bookmaker JB Bryant, has an Obata woodblock on the cover and lively poems (and a story) that will charm lovers of mountains and verse in the same way that Chinese poets memorialized the mountains of their land.
— Art Goodtimes


My stubble grows white
among a hundred granite peaks.
Passions are never easily put aside.
Edging across a narrow arête,
manteling an airy summit block;
the same thing that makes you live
can kill you in the end.
Norman Schaefer
from “The Sunny Top of California” (La Alameda Press, Albuquerque, 2010)


Easy to say,
hard to clean
— Jack Mueller
Hermit of Log Hill


I see you. Yes. You are
the impossible route
up granite, seen only
one move at a time,
found more by fingertip
than eye.

I see you. Yes. You are
the line through trees
in deep powder, seen
then lost, visible
to the knees, a sense
of give, then ground.

I see you. Yes. You are
the smooth tongue,
the reflection of sky
leading the way through
white churn water
where the line is fine,
a single oar-dip
between slide
and flip.
— Elle Metrick
San Miguel County Poet Laureate
Norwood, CO

At the Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival

like wild hummingbirds
we gather at the feeder
gulping poetry
— Carol Bell
Haiku a Day Practice
Fort Colliins

The Road

May the road
rise up to greet you
as you face down
fall upon it.
— Danny Rosen
Stargazing Mage of Lithic Press