Cowiche Canyon Trailhead. Dylan singing, There ain't no man righteous, no not one. as I lace my boots. Rocky Top Road. After rain walking/bleached grasses wet with sunlight/muddy boots sliding/pant cuffs soaked.
Wetlands, Marshes, Estuaries, Coastlines
AT BARATARIA PRESERVE, IN JEAN LAFITTE STATE PARK,
LARRY TUOHY WALKS WITH US ON BOARDWALK TRAILS
FOR TWO HOURS, HIS MONOLOGUE THE POETRY WE ASK FOR,
AS HE TAKES ALL OF OUR QUESTIONS
BEFORE WE DRIVE ON TO GRAND ISLE
--for Larry Tuohy
South Louisiana is full of water. High ground
created by deposited silt with a need for constant replenishment.
This is one of the old channels of the Mississippi River.
High ground now. The only stable land.
High ground can still be below sea level.
In the bayous we'll walk, we'll descend
from hardwood forest, to palmetto forest,
and then to cypress and tupelo--still billed
as fresh water. The descent will be a matter of inches.
You won't know you're not walking a level path.
Yes, it's beautiful, that pale green on the water.
But it's lethal. It's a combination of duckweed and sylvania.
Sylvania's from Argentina and it's invasive,
crowding out duckweed. Yes, those small wheels
of green, as you say, are also sylvania.
And each one is an individual plant.
Tidal surges create the real danger.
No natural waterways left.
So you've read Mike Tidwell's Bayou Farewell.
We keep it in the bookstore. You also need
John Barry's Rising Tide. He's right.
Twenty-five square miles a year disappears--
but it's not 25 square miles you can see.
It happens in such small ways--your own eyes
can deceive you. Cajun fishermen feel
a disappearance that can't be easily proven,
even when right. You can't point to the football field.
Constant, constant erosion, one spoonful at a time.
Let's stop for a minute and talk about this man, Jean LaFitte.
Do you know what a privateer is? No. A privateer--
Jean LaFitte, a crime boss. He and his two brothers.
99 vessels. He didn't captain boats. A private entrepreneur,
contracted by the government to make war on our enemies.
Like Halliburton? Maybe. The privatized army in Iraq?
I've heard that before. Maybe.
These are Dwarf Palmettos.
Indians could make everything they needed but boats,
from the palmetto. That's Spanish Moss on Bald Cypress.
Doesn't hurt the cypress. Takes nothing from the tree.
Frenchmen's beards. It's an epiphyte.
Tchefuncte Indians from here.
They took these nasty tasting clams--
Rangia Cuneata--and made their world.
These tiny shells piled as high as 50 feet,
creating a higher ground that saved dwellings
from flooding. With boats from cypress trees
they had what they needed.
This is the beginning of the cypress swamp.
Cypress trees make a nearly perfect wood.
Dense,straight. That tree may be 750 years old.
Cypress wood lasts forever. Those dark spikes?
Part of the root system. Called knees.
Spikes to keep trees from falling?
An academic argument. Fiercely fought
with very little at stake. I'm a naturalist by default.
My degree's in military history. There are still
sunken cypress trees out here. Still good wood.
So dense it sinks but won't rot.
Clearcutting was bad, but the steam engine
created havoc, too. Steam engines created disaster
carrying out the trees. Cypress needles in a cypress bog.
his undergrowth is a result of Katrina.
Giant Blue Irises used to be the biggest draw of the summer.
All gone, now. Too many tree tops knocked out
and too much sunlight let in. Oh, that--
Daddy Long Legs. Has the most dangerous venum
of the spiders, but its mouth is too small to do much damage.
Barataria is one of the best kept secrets near New Orleans.
Yes, the liquid load. A canal Alligator's been walking around.
This canal's been turned into flotant marsh.
Not rooted to the ground. OK. I heard
about the David Muth interview, but didn't see it.
He's very good. His ideas all solid.
Oh, there! 750-1000 alligator's in this park.
She's a teenager. About four years old.
She'll grow and mature. She acts like teenagers.
A swamp is a forest filled with water.
A marsh is a prairie filled with water.
Marshes are artificially stable ground.
Down there. See that pipe? That's Tarpaper Canal.
Shell Oil Company dug that channel, created that marsh.
Yes, there's a pipeline underneath the water.
It's all mapped. Relationship beween park and oil. Yes.
There is. We have to speak truth.
And then, I'm a volunteer.
There's another hurricane most have forgotten.
1893. Chenier Caminada. Do your research on that one.
From wet, wrapped and wound raffia, tied, to rebar, shaping this tree from the wild.
Bob Carlson, Suiseki teacher, Spokane River
"Take off your wedding ring. // You might scratch the stone."
Suiseki Collecting White River
It's music // is the language // of the universe
ROOT OVER ROCK
Emmons Morain Trail / Rebuilt after storm / four winters past
YOU CAN WRITE A BIG POEM
Recording what's been carved/on historical markers
BEER COOLER CEMETERY
Potting Golden Glow Juniper
Crushed walnut in sock/polishes pot with no sheen/behind this ritual
Hands Across Generations
Karen Bodeen sewing a new outfit for Tygee while finishing Chief Joseph Vest
Chief Joseph Vest for Children
Karen Bodeen's Chief Joseph Vest for Sandy Hook Elementary School, contains the names of all the children on the inside lining. Poems of William Blake and William Butler Yeats have been made into tiny quilts inside the two pockets. A video on the meditation of violence accompanies the vest as Karen sews with a grandchild.
Uncle Tim, Caretaker
Uncle Tim brought us the skis when we were still in diapers.
Early morning notebook
Time is short.
The Presidential Interview
That place, neither pastoral or political. Even in uniform, not in uniform. I insisted on tying my own tie. The President noticed. My knot is not his knot. He noticed. He glimpsed that part I give away. That part that says, I'm from somewhere else. He saw that place for a second. He didn't know what it was, but he trusted it.
Jim Bodeen High Camp
Spring light sprung
GOD AND MAN
What are people for? the theologian asks. The child asks, Why do we have to be human?
TALKING ABOUT NUTS
Talking about nuts, Josh says, Carlos almost hit me in the nuts.
Han Shan, packed for survival, along with first aid kit, Swiss Army Knife, matches, and shovel.
Old Man's Beard
"Deezus said, "He used to be real, but now he's not."
Grandchildren skiing the rim of Paradise Basin
Sammy & the Butterfly
Quatrains explore realities. It's all true in quatrain's lines. You never know. What's happening?
What's coming next. Line's independence, that fierce. When everything's real, no need for magic. One
stays alert. No one line calls attention to itself. The nothing that sings. The beginner begins.
Jim Bodeen 2011-2013
Caminando con Eliseo Perez
Leen con nosotros, y da nos su ideas y comentario. Read with us and make your commentaries here so we can bring the world into our basement conversation. Charlas picositas en el sotano
Notebook and the Chaco Stick
Far Kiva Homecoming
Chaco Stick at rest from a high place
The Whispered Gift
Breaking silence after Lauds,
Guestmaster whispers, Your face has the look of the Eschaton. One eye catches, nods at his word.
Jim Bodeen 1 April 2008--1 April 2011
Gateway to the Goat Rocks
Looking SouthWest From Paradise Basin
Kate in Paradise Basin
Josh Stepping Into his Bindings
High Camp Lodge, White Pass, Cascade Mountains, Washington State
Kid's Castle, City of God, Parade
Snow Light Below, Sky Light Above
Skis carry the body
across the mountain
between light and light.
The backpack, always practical,
is a tool for just in case,
including the small pleasure
of chocolate. Water and meatloaf
sandwich are necessities,
as is the notebook,
The Rule of Benedict for Monks,
and Songs of Cold Mountain.
Sunrise on Hogback
Practicing Soul Shine--Better than Sunshine//Soul Shine like Son Shine//God Shine Washing over us
High Mountain Invitation of Light
THE TEMPLE OF LIGHT AND OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL PEANUT BUTTER
All crosses here come from crossed
ski tips and will get you in trouble,
but make no mistake,
there are no mistakes in this lodge,
filling with light, practicing
to be nothing more
than the light that it is.
24 January 2011
Self-Portrait with Elk
The child you take up the mountain is not the same child you'll bring home
Beacon, probe, shovel. Three essentials in backcountry packs
Scott Schell debriefing
Scott Schell, kneeling, one of three co-authors of the book, BackCountry Skiing, and Dave, in red gloves, discuss companion rescue exercise and what worked and what didn't work.
The Grateful Notebook
On the Poetry Pole
Lucky Snow Light
Inside the tree well
MAPPING THE SOLSTICE
Solstice, equinox, solstice
Juegos en Palabras en Merida
Enough facts already. We want words made into poems.
Juana y Juana
Juana sirviendo poesia
Juana vestida en ropas
entendido por Dios
Juana caminando en la historia
La cara en la moneda
La cara en la camara
In one five minute exchange
Juana recites hombres necios We make a movie
We exchange internet addresses
We talk about our lives in the poem
Both of us in uniform,
Both of us go back to work
22 November 2010
Juana sirviendo poesia
La Catrina en yakima
Nuestra catrina, Aurora Pena-Torres
Altar por Raul Sanchez
Dia de los muertos, Mighty Tieton
Along side, and below...
Go that way. Keep going.
Third Burroughs, Mt. Rainier
Sol y Sombra
Third Burroughs on Mt. Rainier
follows a moon walk. At Fall Equinox
it's all low angles into ice light.
A sandwich, a piece of chocolate.
Monks know how close
it is to your own house.
Third Burroughs is a bear
on the trail.
Fifteen minutes here
carries one into winter.
A begging bowl out
of the village. A dream camp
one can drop into.
Stay is limited. In summer
you can take off your shoes.
Each breath turns into scripture.
Your own footprint confuses.
Your poems will be clean and clear.
It is not summer here.
Surprise and reversal.
Vonnie & Craig's Esperance 1
Sky over Copper Basin
Copper Basin afternoon, Fall equinox
Before the Equinox
No one here has to do too much.
Bring "Too much" down to size.
This house. Esta casa where
you've been given this chance.
All one has to do here
is follow directions.
Obedecer. Good courage
holds water, weaves
itself into each room.
This house again.
The door swings both ways.
Either way, be present
Transports us, like all good poems.
Transportation as necessity.
Nova says my hands
are exploding stars. We're
on its pad of concrete--work
of transport remains. Unless
the poem carries us, it's nova
again. No va, as Mexicans say,
No go. Daily travel, then.
Back in time, in dreams,
how we listen for the poem.
Llama Obama--Call him up!
Call him up and tell him what you want. Barack, Mr. President. Sir, you have not done what you promised us. Sir, you have not done what you told us you were going to do. This is a very sincere request. It's not innocence. No, no. Don't misunderstand. If you pick up the phone, we'll help you.
Vigil en Yakima Contra 1070
Arbol de la esperanza para la reforma migratoria
Grand Isle, Louisiana,
BP spills oil into this beauty
Sunrise, Grand Isle, LA 7.19.10
Grand Isle State Park, LA
Karen Bodeen, marshlands
Images from Barataria Preserve by Karen Bodeen
10-Mile Falls, near Holden Village
“Jesús echó su suerte con las personas de abajo: las mujeres, los niños, las masas empleadas, subempleadas y desempleadas, la población marginada por los estigmas sociales y religiosos.” –Eliseo Pérez Álvarez
Even a charged word like Storypath/Cuentocamino, gift and invitation, bows before its ancestors, and my beginnings as a conscious being begin with Karen, whose person and story have made me, and kept me dizzy, for 48 years, 44 of those years in marriage. Karen walks with me, and helps me walk. There is some evidence that I do the same for her.
During the lifetime of the word guiding us during these nine years, poetry and quilts have come from the gifts of adult children, grandchildren, and an expanding experience of family. Our children live challenging, generous lives. We are grateful for them daily. My mother, with her North Dakota roots, has completed her earthly life, leaving us seminal North Dakota imagery.
Karen says, I take what the day gives me, and these words guide our family on the daily journey. Learning our steps as Grandma and Grandpa, then, inform the word, making this blog possible.
Netting covers the face
but protects no one.
Trying to enter
the world of bees,
laughs out loud.
"You look like you're trying
to bag a lion."
Beth Binch, Beekeeper
No one owns the bees. Bees are protected by law.
Dorothy Alice Everett Benson
Karen's dad in car on left, and mom in the hat at right.
Viola & John Everett; Louise & Eldor Benson 1947
How Karen Works
Karen looks for patterns
Bachelor Buttons at Poetry Pole
Walking into Vocation
Not dangerous work,
the Hell you say. The thing
about a parable, or a poem
or song or story, is that
the act of love
that creates it
is too much for even
the person or persons
bringing it into the world.
Come to El Salvador,
and you will write the best poems
of your life. He didn't say
those poems will take you apart
piece by piece.
La vida cotidiana
Celebrando la comida tipica
Fr. Dean Brackley, S.J.
Oscar! Oscar! Oscar!
Ask the martyrs what they need. Songs, tears, dances, prayers, for starters. We're all beginners. Todos somos principiantes. Que necesitas, Elba?
San Salvador, March 2006
We weren't lost, we were disappeared. Where will the poor sleep in the 21st Century?
Fr. Dean Brackley
Marching and Remembering Romero, March 2006
Writing the song of the two children in my notebook
Pastora Abelina Gomez y Don Alfonso
Comunidad Fe y Esperanza
A las tumbas con Trini
Day of the Dead, Suchitoto
Dibujo para Juan Carlos
Damnificados en Apopa
despues de las lluvias
Literature that means business
A broadside for your wallet
The soccer field
This was the patio of the hacienda
Trabajando para derechos humanos
Balthazar Romero, brother of Oscar Romero, greets Bishop Gomez
Obispo de la Paz/Bishop of Peace
nombres de los rios
Obispo Gomez en Apopa
Despues de las lluvias
Mary Campbell at Poetry Pole
from Obit of Jon de Cortina
Mary at the Poetry Pole
Only a Canary
La tinta mas debil es mejor
que cualquier memoria
brillante, the man begins
The poet who is not a voice
for his people, no matter
his gifts or beautiful words,
if he doesn't speak
for his people, he will
only ever be a canary
Meal at the Altar
Comunidad de Oscar Romero
This light, these hands
Who? Neighbor/Projimo Who is my
Bright Angel Trail
Say Hello to Vishnu Schist
Tim filming in Maligne Canyon
Storypath/Cuentocamino likes to walk out of itself into something like immersion or exhaustion. It's about listening and being called. It's in the blood beautiful in the brain. It is that much God, a necessity.
Bamboo en Tonacatepeque
I believe in the Parable of Gluestick, in the mixture of poetry, theology, photography, testimonio/testimony, and sometimes, placed in unexected places. Parables have nothing to do with safety for anyone. I want the poem at risk. I want the poet at risk.
A series of notebooks is used in a process of during and after, and now and then. Made and remade. I consider each notebook a finished thing, complete, although it may be used again to further the work of the imagination.