Kawa Doja is the Classroom of the Riverbank


Field Collecting on the Eel River
Why stones are watered,
and how the turning of the stones
changes the ways we enter the river.

Jim Bodeen
25 September 2016

CHECKING IN WITH THE MUSE ON THE RIVER

FOUR DAYS ON THE EEL RIVER WITH STONES

We who know we're fastened
to the poem, know something
of our approximation.

Carrying War & Peace since midsummer
the book became as intimate as the wallet
in my back pocket. Book worn well, weathered,
scratching a surface I hadn't known.
I came here to be with these stones,
to see them in their water.
They showed themselves to me,
and for this I am grateful.
Eel River Suiseki. I came to like
the ones scratched with travel,
the ones in calligraphy, like an ancient
Chinese poem I couldn't translate.
Something like the way the paper cover
of War and Peace turned to something like leather.

Kawa Doja is the classroom of the riverbank.
It surprises me how much the riverbank speaks
in the voice of all my teachers, like I am
surrounded by Sensei from then and now.
As I become familiar, not native,
I discover that I have been given
certain permissions. I am granted invitations
to enter the river and bathe. Stones
are given to me, with instructions
that they are to become part of the gift,
that they must always move, that their patina
will surface over time, with water,
with sunshine, and with love.
And then, as if to correct me
for trying to do everything right, to be perfect,
(Imagine that, in me!), the stones come up
the trail in my pack, where I perform
a first cleaning, and they sit with me
as I finish the great story of Tolstoy.
The book has become a kind of diary,
and I find myself taking notes
in the margins, jotting fragments
of my imagination as they cross
my field of vision. And then,
all my fretting over the daiza
and my literal concern for display
came to the fore, as I sat with book and stone
before the campfire in the lawn chair.
The worn cover with the soft pages
presented themselves with the stones,
drying but still damp. Pierre, in his tears,
listening to Karataev, Natasha wiping the brow
of Andrei, still separate from each other,
and Moscow, the mother of all cities, empty.
These pages offer themselves.
Perhaps I may be excused for beginning a poem,
or a prayer, this effort at gratefulness,
by starting with War and Peace.
Unforgivable entrance! But how else
to explain how Pierre came to hear Karataev say,
Lord, lay me down like a stone, lift me up like a loaf.
Or to be called by him, Little Falcon?
As Pierre noted, he knew nothing
by heart except prayer.
Stone, book, story, all of it gathered
before me in the lawn chair by the fire.
I set the still-drying stone on the page,
a perfect tray, and the page absorbs
the water as will someday, the stone.
It will take me longer than that to understand
all that is going on, all that happens
on the riverbank, kawa doja.
This is what I carry now, breaking camp.

Jim Bodeen
18 September 2016
Camp Redwood


CHECKING IN WITH THE MUSE AFTER DINNER,
CAMP REDWOOD, 375 YARDS UP FROM THE EEL RIVER,
LOOKING AT, AND CONTEMPLATING, STONES:

And did you get your work done?
Work? My job was to get Karen to Art Week
at the farm, to help put her in a creative space,
not bouncing a gear in her sewing machine while traveling.
She's been there four days. I can hardly wait to see what's new.
What's new in her. Maybe there's some thread on cloth, too.
To see what's new. Is that fair? I'm in the shade
sitting on a lawn chair under an acorn tree
80 feet high, dropping its harvest on the mothership--
and me--with each breeze. It must have been a good year.
You're still here? For a visitation?
The mothership rests in the sacred circle
of the tree's crown. Been hit? Once.
In the shoulder. Felt it, too, but I haven't
been plunked on the head. When I'm inside
and a nut hits the roof, I jump and duck.
But is your work done? Here's the notebook,
you decide. After lunch I made one more trip
to the river. Pack, video camera, phone,
one bottle of water. With a limit of five stones.
Self-imposed limit. Trekking poles, after yesterday.
Should a man in his 70s be carrying stones
in a pack returning from the river?
I put the camera on river stones as I walked,
let the lens lead. You, with your questions
might not have seen much. Neither did I.
Is this play or work? My question.
It was hot, no shade, and I said out loud,
to nobody, This is all ritual. Formal farewell
to the Eel River. I said that arriving. Stones
were all gray as I walked and I heard sensei
ask, Is that another gray stone, Jim?
And then the camera found one hidden in sand.
I brought it home. Like I said, it was hot,
and I said to myself, Maybe I should get naked
and complete this ritual. I looked around.
No  deer, no dogs--or teenagers, for that matter.
At first I just sat on a rock, like up to my waist.
Tentative. I didn't want California Search & Rescue
coming upon a 71-year old man dead with a bone
sticking out where he was felled by an algae-covered rock.
I found my way among the stones until I could lay down
on my back and belly. Neither hot or cold, now,
with a river running through me.
I hope this is what you mean
by getting my work done.
You're getting literary.
Forgive me. Karen and I watched the movie
before we left home. We talked about the words
beneath the stones. And? Yes, the swim,
or bath, felt more cleansing than the one up river
where I took Karen. Thank you for asking.
Thank you for giving me the work, this task.
The Eel ran faster and cleaner up high,
but I didn't want to leave. This is the Eel River.
The Eel. The river of my teachers.
Carlson and Rivera. I have Rivera's book out now.
I had it at the river. And how many stones?
Ah. You would ask. Seven, or eight.
I know I said five. My tendencies with the stones
are the same as with the poems. After dressing,
I walked back to where I'd placed the stones
in the pack with my glasses and phone.
I sat with the camera and did a short triage,
looking at each stone for color, shape, texture,
and size. I found myself  drawn
to the medium-sized stones. Interesting features:
caves, waterfalls, serpentine. Not what I'd found
yesterday, shape-wise, nothing. I'm drawn to flat-shaped
buttes, images from childhood interest in the West.
If I had an epiphany, it was this: if it spoke to me,
I trusted it also had signature and authenticity.
That it's come from somewhere else,
and this is where its beauty lies. I chose it
for its miles covered on this earth. I held that
before the lens of the camera. I read from Rivera's
suiseki book, going back and forth between
practice and patina. Without having to choose,
I knew it was the hand of practice reaching for me.
I felt it steadying me. Practice showed me
the image of water and turning stones.
With practice I didn't need to worry about patina.
That was it. It would arrive on its own, or not,
through practice. That's all in the movie?
Well, I hope so. Some of it. Some of it's still coming,
still arriving. Wait and see. I didn't have
that kind of courage with you before.
I thought I must be more definitive with you.
I hope I can be that way in the poem.
And your work? My work?
Did you get it done?
You're not quite hearing my devotion?
After Karen, the poem has my soul.
I can't wait for Karen to show.
She needn't bring a thing.
And the poem, if the living is right,
work will be too, and the poem
doesn't even need to get written down.

Jim Bodeen
Camp Redwood, Eel River
17 September 2016

Koi Quilt Water Weave


LOOKING AT A DRAFT OF HER KOI QUILT MOVIE

Karen says, I object to two things.
Your saying I was a gift to the community,
and that long drive into the farm.
Do you really think anyone will watch
long enough to see the quilt?

You wouldn't let me
talk to people about you that way.

Was there anything you like, I ask.
There was, she says. I liked the interview.

For me, I add,
water will never be the same.

Jim Bodeen
24 September 2016




Karen's journey to Emandal Farm
outside of Willits, California
with Landscape Quilter Laura Fogg
during Art Week. Karen's quilt was inspired
by images of her photography
while at Japanese Gardens, Portland, Oregon

EEL RIVER SUISEKI HAIKU


















LENA'S SUISEKI STONES

Lena collected the smallest stones.
Stones she brought from the beach
could be cupped in your hand,
landscapes of the way she lived. 
She put them in a dish
on the coffee table as immaculate
as her living room where she read.

My day on the river is complete,
stones loaded in my pack
for the hike up the trail, Lena's
tiny stones in my shirt pocket.

Jim Bodeen
18 September--23 September 2016
Eel River--Yakima























FOUR DAYS ON THE EEL RIVER WITH STONES

We who know we're fastened
to the poem, know something
of our approximation.

Carrying War & Peace since midsummer
the book became as intimate as the wallet
in my back pocket. Book worn well, weathered,
scratching a surface I hadn't known.
I came here to be with these stones,
to see them in their water.
They showed themselves to me,
and for this I am grateful.
Eel River Suiseki. I came to like
the ones scratched with travel,
the ones in calligraphy, like an ancient
Chinese poem I couldn't translate.
Something like the way the paper cover
of War and Peace turned to something like leather.























Kawa Doja is the classroom of the riverbank.
It surprises me how much the riverbank speaks
in the voice of all my teachers, like I am
surrounded by Sensei from then and now.
As I become familiar, not native,
I discover that I have been given
certain permissions. I am granted invitations
to enter the river and bathe. Stones
are given to me, with instructions
that they are to become part of the gift,
that they must always move, that their patina
will surface over time, with water,
with sunshine, and with love.
And then, as if to correct me
for trying to do everything right, to be perfect,
(Imagine that, in me!), the stones come up
the trail in my pack, where I perform
a first cleaning, and they sit with me
as I finish the great story of Tolstoy.
The book has become a kind of diary,
and I find myself taking notes
in the margins, jotting fragments
of my imagination as they cross
my field of vision. And then,
all my fretting over the daiza
and my literal concern for display
came to the fore, as I sat with book and stone
before the campfire in the lawn chair.
The worn cover with the soft pages
presented themselves with the stones,
drying but still damp. Pierre, in his tears,
listening to Karataev, Natasha wiping the brow
of Andrei, still separate from each other,
and Moscow, the mother of all cities, empty.
These pages offer themselves.
Perhaps I may be excused for beginning a poem,
or a prayer, this effort at gratefulness,
by starting with War and Peace.
Unforgivable entrance! But how else
to explain how Pierre came to hear Karataev say,
Lord, lay me down like a stone, lift me up like a loaf.
Or to be called by him, Little Falcon?
As Pierre noted, he knew nothing
by heart except prayer.
Stone, book, story, all of it gathered
before me in the lawn chair by the fire.
I set the still-drying stone on the page,
a perfect tray, and the page absorbs
the water as will someday, the stone.
It will take me longer than that to understand
all that is going on, all that happens
on the riverbank, kawa doja.
This is what I carry now, breaking camp.

Jim Bodeen
18 September 2016
Camp Redwood 


















THE QUILT AND THE STONE

She was looking for the river light,
quilting. She was making water out of cloth.
Thread brought everything to the surface.
Her vision fish came from the Japanese Garden
in the West Coast city. He was in the river
uncovering stones, lifting them.
As different as they were,
they were after the same thing,
meditation in the image,
dream impressions from the visible world.

Our oldest ancestor, a proton-powered rock.

What comes from watching NOVA on TV.

The last common ancestor of all life
was not a free-living cell at all,
but a porous rock riddled with bubbly
iron-sulfur membranes that catalyzed
primordial biochemical reactions.
Powered by hydrogen and proton gradients,
this natural flow reactor filled up with organic
chemicals, giving rise to proto-life
that eventually broke out as the first living cells.

It reveals itself in cloth, as fish.
It is the God-science of the poem.

Jim Bodeen
Fall Equinox, 2016

























FROM THE COAST, DRIVING INTO RIVER COUNTRY

After dinner, reading in lawn chairs,
the smell of campfire behind us

Oregon State Park named after
a newspaperman, William Tugman

In a grove of trees
with Karen at dusk,
Tolstoy empties Moscow
while Napoleon thinks
magnanimous thoughts

Donald Trump approaches
the gates of Moscow
only a picture of Putin
no queen bee
bookseller with no inventory,
a book jacket in blue jeans

Light storms in waves
Color for Karen's landscape quilts
Oregon coast sand

Waking in trees
keeping us from highway winds
Mothership in deep cover

Tolstoy explores the empty hive
as Donald Trump remembers
whispered praise from Putin

Moscow is the sacred mother
wandering among wounded soldiers
Tolstoy and Whitman

Fine line markers
12 vibrant colors
Sharp tips for details

And a breakfast prayer
from Thich Nhat Hanh's
How to Love

Karen says she recorded
my breathing last night.
I look at her over my Cream of Wheat,
concerned, then ask about it--
full wonder, How beautiful
to have her listening to my breath
while sleeping. Mothership bed
brings us closer
Finishing her cereal, Karen finds
another piece of bacon
under the paper towel

Sitting in camp chair
while Karen showers
Fabric washes her body
in arcs of color

This is where the Eel River meets the sea

I walk the river walk
without accessing the water
No stones here
This Suiseki mecca river
has me counting syllables at 3 am

"Don't bet against the meatball"
Full-blossomed tartar thistle
Pink curves cut against the blade

Jim Bodeen
Mid-September, 2016

























THE ODDNESS OF ONE

Almost bedtime now, and not.
So unusual, and strange.
To be here with Karen
and to be without her.

Sitting in lawn chair
so I won't have to crawl up
and be alone. I've been alone
in the Mothership before.
I've been alone in our 52 years.
But we've been together
for 852 miles, and she's not here.
Karen's not here.

Jim Bodeen
14 Sept 2016



















Eel River Haiku

Mouth of the Eel
Kawa Dojo
Classroom of the ancients

No time for Tolstoy
Here comes Karen
moving into river country

Stop counting syllables
Enter into relationship with stone
Ancestors know you're on the way

Oh, my God
How did that happen
This color in Karen's cheek!

Daily river wonder walk
Yogurt with Karen in the Mothership
Cloth weaving river

Sunset river walk
homeless man on bicycle
Quiet time with my teacher

I had nothing to say
I was living in my head
Foolish foolish man

Let me serve you breakfast
she says smiling haiku girl
Don't get greedy with the poem


Jim Bodeen
Mouth of the Eel River
Fortuna, Ca
14 September 2016



Hop Harvest, Yakima Valley, Washington State




TOURING THE HOP HARVEST
WITH OUR SON, THE HOP DRYER,
IN THE YAKIMA VALLEY IN SEPTEMBER

Picked on the vine,
hung up, the blossoms
for the brewers.
What our son does in September.

Tim, grab your mother’s hand.
Going up steep wooden stairs.
Karen in orange vest
and yellow hard hat.
Chains and pulleys
the sounds of chains,
well-oiled chains,
Do the chains need more oil?
The music of chains
and short solos of each link.
Hops coming through on the vine.
Karen turns and looks at me. Can I?
You can. Light coming through
2x4s in the ceiling.
Fans everywhere,
Escalators for cleaning.
Up and down. Up and down.
It’s all about washing and cleaning the hops.
Heavy stuff falls, rolls down,
Conveyor belts now.
Like fish ladders.
Like slot machines.
Like figuring one’s odds with dice.
And the light coming through the building.
Karen in all of these colors
on her way to a quilting conference.
Keep a hold of your mother’s hands.
What?
Keep a hold of your mother’s hands.
What I say to my son:
I don’t want to lose my toes.
OSHA grandfathers us all.
Descending now.
Stairs like my father’s elevator in North Dakota.
From the same era.
Workers everywhere cleaning up.
It’s all pressure time.
It’s all dice.
Dice and beauty, too.
Light green blossoms
and clanging chains.
Heat and wind from the kiln
for the effervescent flower

and the world’s great thirst.

Jim Bodeen
9/11/2016--22 September 2016

Driving Highway 101

























NYE BEACH WALK WITH KAREN 
BREAKFAST HAIKU

        "Quilters never stop"
        --Karen Bodeen

Mapled blueberries
Corn Flakes invite the bell to sound
Bring yesterday home

OK last night tired
Karen setting out
Breathing so much joy

None of this planned
Holding these stones in my hands
come up from below

Every day's first poem
Workshop in wonder, O God
Warming for the now

The work before me
What I asked God for
Sitting with Poems

Jim Bodeen
15 Sept 2016
Camp Redwood



















NYE BEACH WALK WITH KAREN

Karen in paisley dress, in sunshine
and wind, feet in sand, barefoot.
We were here 16 years ago this January
reading poems with Nye Beach writers.
"The Elizabeth Inn," Karen says,
"We could hear the surf from our room."
I remember, the morning of that reading,
it was dark. The inauguration
of George W. Bush. All those men
in long, black coats. Carrying those
images into the reading of poems,
it's one of my seminal images.

The morning after the reading
we walked the beach, and found
those large black stones, surf
swirling around them
as we searched for spots to stand on.
We took photographs of each other
looking out to sea, later framing them
in the collage frame from my sister.

We walk back again today,
retracing our story, stopping
at the Nye Beach Viet Nam Veteran's Memorial.
We read the poem, see ourselves
mirrored in the black stone
as we did then, as we saw ourselves
in the stone in Washington. It's so beautiful
what they did, mirroring.

I fix tacos in the mothership
surrounded and cutting limes
without knowing where I am.

Karen says, "I'm going to ask a favor,"
startling me, "What?"
"Wipe the mice poop from the toilet paper door."

Jim Bodeen
14 September 2016




















THE GREAT TSUNAMI OF 1700

Karen steps out of truck
takes photos of elderly couple
reading Tsunami sign
at Lincoln City. A 9+ quake
off shore fault system--
Cascadia Subductdion Zone
from Northern California to British Columbia.
A wave of 50 feet.
I'm thinking about Native villages
wiped out as Karen gets back
in the cab. "I took a picture of you
photographing that elderly couple,"
I say to her. "Yes, that elderly couple,
they're our age, or younger."

Jim Bodeen
13 September 2016       
        




Nez Perce Trail Over Lolo Pass

CHECK-UP SATURDAY OUT BACK

After posting the wrangler video
40 seconds long, I mailed a book
to friends building the envelope
with stamps. Batman beneath
the Batman Moon, looking
at the Bat Muse in front
of the yellow light, blue cape
lit for the bat, dark side
for me and the mailman.
This package announces itself
with Jaime Escalante's
stand and deliver forever;
two pickup trucks--
the 48 Ford F-1,
in John Deere green,
and a cream-colored 53 Chevy
with spare tire mounted
on driver's side.
In addition, two Ray Charles
from three years ago. What'd I say?
Counter-cultural patriotism.
Small but utterly clean windows.

Back from E Bar L Ranch
with writers, camped away
from others, the sound of horses
outside the mothership, early
as I'm working on a poem:
Horses. I grab my IPhone
and video the last 50 stampeding
in front of me, the wrangler
whooping it up. Carry your gear,
cowboy, keep it handy, unholstered.

At home, friends. The philatelist
telling American history
through stamps traveling in mail,
envelopes being as important
as documents--diplomatic exchanges
between U.S. and Japanese ships
repatriating civilians during WWII.
Exchange rates: One peso per half ounce
from the Philippines to U.S. mainland.
Eating blue berries and cereal.
The unopened letter.
Claiming it three years later.
I'm ready now.
Aging. Is this something we can do
together? She says we can.
She says we can do it.
Birds are back. We have thistles.
The kitten from next door attacks
a finch. A book in the mail.
Sweetgrass. Indigenous wisdom,
scientific knowledge, teachings of plants.
Finch under the tiny bridge, rescued.
The haiku: Goose music overhead.
Kneeling to become native.
Small engines mowing.
Envelope as messenger.
Tossaway.
Correvidele.
Runandgotell.
Unsuspecting witness.

Jim Bodeen
1-9 September 2016





Morning Wranglers at the E Bar L Ranch


THREE DAYS ON U.S. HIGHWAY 12, A WINDING ROAD

Lolo Pass came first in my childhood,
in the back of Dad’s 1951 Plymouth,
traveling from the small town
in North Dakota, to Seattle,
after the death of his mother.
I was six years old. Stopping
at trail markers our family
learned of Lewis and Clark.
I still carry something of my mother’s fear
along with earned scars
of the mountain pass and a 2-lane hiway.

I cross Lolo again at 71,
reading trail markers,
this time with Chief Joseph,
Chief Looking Glass,
Nee-me-poo and the Nez Perce.
Niimiipuu. Nimpau.
The real people.
Nez Perce Trail.
The year 1877.
Flight and collision.
Trails of sorrows.
Orofino to Lolo.

In the Kooskia Café, asking the waitress what I should know,
me, almost missing the photographs. Jane Gay’s image
from 1889, Chief Joseph with  translator and interpreter, James Stuart
and Alice Fletcher. Fletcher,born in Cuba, the first woman scientist
to live with American Indians.
With coffee at the Kooskia Café.

















This is the Clearwater.
20 years ago I published the poet’s book
with the same name, Clearwater.
Stopping at road signs tonight
I wonder what I’d find in these poems.

In Warren’s breath, …who called themselves the Nimpau,
after the flight, the return, “…now back in the Northwest
(but not in his own land, a prisoner on a reservation
in the state of Washington), Chief Joseph died sitting at his campfire.
The reservation physician reported the death
as caused by a broken heart.”
Warren finishing his poem with all of us stopped at a traffic light,
hoping for the right stranger who will stop when the light says go,
and looking into his own heart, standing paralyzed, needing to know."

Road sign historical markers
to freeze your heart at Penn Warren’s stoplight.
The photograph of Chief Looking Glass for your bathroom mirror.
Chief Looking Glass with the bow in his right hand.
Leather and beads with the grand hat.
Elelimyete’ qenin’, Wrapped in Wind,
Ala’limya Takaniin, Cyclone Traveler.

This is Clearwater, Lochsa, Bitterroot, Blackfoot.
A River Runs Through It. Underneath the stones are the words.
Dick Hugo in the Buick.
Mom and Dad. A boy in the back seat.

Jim Bodeen
8 September 2016

















AFTER GATHERING RIVER STONES FOR THREE DAYS

Nobody tells me about Ghost Town Turnoff
where I can see the Garnet Range.
After all these river stops. When granite magma
entered limestone, the two reacted to form
a new kind of rock. The key to gold mineralization
lies in granite magma rising molten from earth's crust
forming the slippery base for block to slide on,
cooling, crystalization separated quartz and gold
into veins. My pastor friend remembers the Finn,
Arne Siirila saying poets are nerve endings of society.
When Grandpa Charlie was dying in Dakota,
he said, Don't let them burn me. Dear God,
don't let them cauterize my nerves. We cried
each other into comas, and left for Black Elk's grave
located in St. Agnes' Catholic Cemetery in Manderson
at Pine Ridge. Pretty soon, for the dreamers,
oblivious of the star dust in their palms,
gold is in the pan. You figure that one.

Jim Bodeen
29 August 2016

















LOLO TRAIL CROSSING FOUND STONES

   Lewis and Clark came up this ridge,   June 29, 1806, they ran into ‘a shower of rain,   with hail, thunder and lightning, that lasted
   about an hour.’ Trail Marker #334 HiWay 12 East


Nothing but sunlight as I stop
to step in the river
wondering which of these stones
turned water during this storm.

Bitterroot Batholith Granite
found between Old Man Creek and Powell.
Rock outcroppings, pale grey,
cooled below surface,
exposed over time by uplift
from below and erosion
from above, granites can be laced
with large feldspar crystals
or dark stripes of other kinds of rock.

Imagine standing on the seashore in Idaho.
These slabs of diorite were part of the ocean floor.
One hundred million years ago.
As continental and oceanic plates moved together
this par of the shelf was pushed upward.
Diorite weathers to dark gray or pinkish brown.

Near the Powell Ranger Station, Gneiss
is the rock with swirly patterns. Metamorphic,
pronounced, “nice.” As the molten granite
of the batholith pushed upward, some rocks
above it melted and mixed, like streaks
of chocolate syrup stirred into vanilla ice cream.
Metamorphic rocks are changed by heating
and re-crystallizing under pressure and high temperature.
Greenish gneiss near Lolo Pass
is probably metamorphosed limestone.

Lolo Batholith Granite near Lolo Hot Springs
is a younger, smaller cousin of the Idaho Batholith.
It was formed only 50 million years ago.
It is characterized by gas cavities lined with crystals.
Some contain the gemstone, Smoky Quartz.
Pink when freshly broken. Containing larger crystals.

Jim Bodeen
27 August—8 September 2016




















BESIDE THE RUNNING HORSES CAMP
E BAR L RANCH IN THE MOTHERSHIP CHAIR

After tacos--street tacos being summer-long staple
and creation, tonight on the tiny Weber grill.
Forget to squeeze lime, but guacamole made
at home, folds in all the flavor of Michoacán.
Wind tonight, shielded by camper. Pulling
cilantro from my teeth with toothpick.
Una habra is a pass or cut between mountains
in brushlands of South Texas, Northern Mexico.
A stone hunt for scholar's rocks,
crossing rivers: Yakima, Clearwater, Lochsa,
Bitterroot and Blackfoot. So many creeks.
Jim Hanlen, chess-playing creek poet
now in Alaska--sometimes spelled, crick
out West. About 3 pm. These stones
wait for the poet who can listen to them.
I'm too dazzled by their beauty,
Monkey Mind on the river, it's all
I can do to keep my balance in the current.

Jim Bodeen
28 August-8 September 2016


FIVE THINGS COME TO MIND
MEDICINE FIVE MINUTES MAX
FALLING OUT WITH LEAVES

That bacon, now bacon
Let me go take a leak
Let me hear those No.Dak jokes

Threading the sacred needle
Touching down on the fabric of skin
Overlay of Plains

Moving, moving, moving
The pen across the time
In and out of North Dakota

Waking in the mothership
Alone, embracing the ear
Looking for the power light

Trespassing signs
Did piss me off
Cowering, backing away

Walking away from old friends
Like leaving North Dakota
For an all-night cafe

My old mother
In her mustache days
Hot fire from a wild tree

Alcohol in fish tanks
Blackfoot River over the bluff
Parker Pen in notebook

Grab the wrong notebook
Where the story changes
Funny man telling jokes

God's glory in sunrise
God's truth in sermons
Thank God for poems on Sunday

Write these ten haikus
Fill your coffee cup
Step away from the canyon

Jim Bodeen
28 August 2016
Greenough, Mt


MOVING

That's what's going on
inside the body's magma,
held up by a plastic folding chair.
It might be better
to cut this gig short
and return to the garden park
with the monk-high fence.
So solitary selfish sitting here
with family
writing in a notebook
drinking coffee
while sunlight
backlights tall grass
beyond the fence line.
Birds, too, circle
in the field, their wings
flashing sunlight
as they search
for something to eat.
Food is everywhere.
I photograph all this
with my Iphone--
It's a telephone Grandma,
with no operator--
Breakfast bell rings
and I stir my oatmeal.
So many bells ringing me home.
Bird chatter calms me down,
helps me listen to you, Mother.
You're with me,
So many ways to talk.
Oh, Jimmy, she says,
Oh, Jimmy, over and over.
Oh, Jimmy.

Jim Bodeen
8 September 2016







Chief Looking Glass
Elelimyete' qenin'
Wrapped in Wind 
















A COWBOY RIDES BY ON HIS HORSE

Sitting in my chair
on the bamboo rug
outside the mothership

looking at all this light
in the pasture
trying to harvest
what's ripe in the grass

I forget to brush my teeth.

Jim Bodeen
30 August 2016