… an old water tower on the edge
of town. It’s not used anymore.
They still haven’t torn it down.
Silver paint sheds in rusty
patches: a well-traveled knight
of old, or a rocket that never
made a journey.
It’s there in February wheat fields
without the green of early spring,
or shine of the cold white snow.
The mud is still frozen.
Evening comes early this far
North. A light from the West sweeps
in under a grey sky, a honey light
smooths this dead place.
Warm air from the coast
over the mountains brings rain,
not the snow of the high passes.
Every year the plows get closer
to the supports; asphalt
spreads wider from town.
The tower will vanish.
I’ll flip a coin
as to which finally kills
the hollow ring in the reservoir.
first published in High Plains Literary Review, Vol. 7,
no. 3, Winter, 1992
There really is a place
with that name. I know,
I live there, and it wasn’t
settled by giants. In the graveyard
there isn’t one more than six feet.
Some are smaller. Young things died
sooner back then.
From the center
of town, you can see it
as you pick up your mail,
one of the last stands of pine
in the Palouse. The graves
in-between make pines seem
darker. Spring wheat makes trees
more of a shadow, old growth
first published in Wind Row, Spring, 1984.
On my former blog site I mention that I have been posting all of my original content on a website called Triond.com. It was an experiment with the new publishing medium of the web. I still believe that it, web publishing, is a powerful medium as far as reaching people with new writings. Certainly it has a broader reach that the current print publication industry, especially if you do not fit a genre or editorial format that can be capitalized upon. But the web provides access to an audience without a publisher, publicist, or editor: for good or ill. Perhaps it is a new way of getting the industry to take notice: ‘Hey, here is somebody we can make money off of!’.
I worked with Triond.com for about half a year, and the site has grown more frustrating through that time. It is clunky and has too many error messages as well as irregular access to your material. Yes you might be able to make money off of the site, but I did not. I am use to no income from print industry so no big disappointment there. I continue to write and will do so on the web. It will not be through Triond.com. There are other venues out there, including webpress.com.
All the material that in theory was published on that web site by me, and according to their initial information about their site still belongs to me, will be posted eventually on wordpress.com. There may be a small lag time in getting all of Living With a Stranger: self portrait, keyed into this blog. I am eager to see if it has any effect on an audience, both the new material and the old.
Hope you enjoy it and stick around.
This blog is an extension of my A Total Solid Waste blog at: http://johnsmithiimxiii.blogspot.com/. It had reached a good stopping spot to break into a new venue in wordpress.com. The first blog is filled with my published work from various sources and the first book of poetry, For the Love of Death: the early years, that I pulled together. I will now be moving into the second book titled Living With a Stranger: self portrait. There will also be other art forms that have, and continue to, flesh out my life.
To begin with: a story. You hopefully have noticed the photos above.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago it seems to me, but it was the early 70’s. I guess we can call that the late 20th century. I fell in love with the light and darkness of the area in which I still live. I was shooting slides when I first started trying to capture that transient place between the two. Somehow these fell into some closet only to resurface after somebody’s death along the way.
As a child, I knew about ghosts, monsters, maybe the elementals on some level. But I did not know about the people and things that might come from other worlds. After I learned about them from years of stories and movies, I spent a long time looking up at those stars, and have seen l lot of interesting things: but no alien space craft.
I guess it is like looking for mushrooms or peyote buttons out in the forests and deserts of the world. Once you stop looking, they are everywhere. When I finally got around to digitizing this slide, I enlarged the right hand quadrant. Huh! It is probably just a light flare for from something behind the camera in the room. It was taken in some tower along the line.
Still, given the talk of inter-dimensional beings these days, maybe there is a reason I feel in love with this area. Given the way the people are moving into this area and sucking the water table dry, destroying the view with buildings, and light pollution in the name of security, I will not hold my breath in actually finding something a little more tactile in the sky, besides, this old body needs to keep the heart pumping as much oxygen around in it as possible. The path between Malkuth and Kether is a long one.