Volume 29 Issue 1


Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved. ~Will Rogers


from Eating the Peach by Karen Chamberlain

...If I can still feel the back of my father’s hand across my face, I can also feel the gentleness of that hand guiding mine as he showed me how to make rows into which we pressed seeds, covered them with fine soil, and patted them snug, my child’s hand spread beneath his callused palm.


from Everett Ruess in Words Along the Way

...As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkeled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail leading into the unknown to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me, that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded by beauty...


from Painted Desert by Michael Ventura

...Something undermines all our attempts to bring this God-scape down to our level. For here it’s not as though we’re looking at the land, it’s as though the land is looking at us. A sense of being stared at by Timelessness itself. And it is hard not to flinch under its glare.


from The Penis the Killed Jeffrey City by David Romtvedt .

..The “letters to the editor” pages were suddenly full of arguments about the appearance of a horse’s penis in poetry and whether or not such an appearance was appropriate, and even if it was, whether I had been right or wrong to read the poem to high school students. For three weeks, the letters continued, temporarily taking precedence over the public debate on abortion. In Buffalo, Wyoming, the owner of a grocery put up a large sign that read, “What’s the matter Jeffrey City, you never seen a horse’s penis before?” Everywhere I went, I was the penis poet.


from Picking up Roadkill by Susan Tweit .

..I sat for a moment reciting a silent prayer, one finger touching the badger’s dense fur. Then I brushed my hands on my jeans and trotted back to the waiting truck. Richard reached over and gripped my hand. We drove away into the night. I’ve been picking up roadkill ever since. I’ve stopped for jackrabbits, pocket gophers, coyotes, rattlensnakes, deer, and turtles. The huge porcupine, armed with a profusion of golden quills. The great-horned owl, one wing still flapflapping in the backwash of passing vehicles. The soft plumage of the curve-billed thrasher, its eye bright, its neck broken. I’ve touched animals that, if alive, would never have allowed my approach. My hands remember the feel of their bodies, so like mine in the stitching of muscle to bone, yet so different.




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