2300 FEET elevation in 3 1/2 miles
Glaciers before my eyes  late afternoon

Copper Creek—Naked
five years ago—On this rock
Balls in gravel like salmon eggs

Vine maple wet from rain on trail
Brushing my Levi's  Wet from hips
to ankles  Could rain more
Rocks slippery, no poles
Short of time  Time's urgency

Private concert with Rolf in Wes Prieb's room

Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, Rolf's voice and guitar

Leonard Cohen's Sisters of Mercy
riffing with Who by Fire

Who shall I say is calling

Lovins' pin to Mac Gimse  Gift gesture
Craftsman to craftsman  One trusts words, one doesn't
Flecks of gold from the bottom of Karen's pan

Karen in the cave, on the loom
Karen in the cave, making books
Karen in the cave with water colors, painting
Karen in the cave making the necklace
Karen knitting, listening   Karen, Karen

Ephesians and Harald Sigmar 40 years ago

The divorced father at McDonald's at Christmas
changes the meal -- changes vespers too, Stephanie

In this basin above the fray and bread rising
I carry a bar from the kitchen full of chocolate

Knees holding  Good old knees

Trish shows me how she walks parallel to Earth at 74
her wonderful pace  like my mother leaving a baseball game

Irene's doctor doesn't want her here   refers her

Second physician, a Muslim, says to her,
You're going to your retreat
and I'm going with mine
You're going with your family
and I'm going with mine
You're going to your mountain
and I'm going to mine

What could be better

The elders, the elders, the elders
The aging, the aging, the aging

Walking solo,—sideways Mapuche,
heel and toe—God-wonder walk,
walking on this side of the comma walking, always

Jim Bodeen
17-21 September 2010
Copper Basin/Yakima

Irene and Jim walk back from Geology Hike
to Ten Mile Falls, telling Jim about her
multiple careers, teaching in the one-room
school house, and then working at the university


—for Trish Pipkin

After vespers in the cafeteria
with the water color painter, she shows me
how she walks parallel to ground,
back straight from the hips.
What I have to get right following her,
is her pace, like my mother
leaving the ballpark—
I rachet my speed.

Her paintings surround the village.
She sold her car to buy paint.
She's 74. She writes. She has a story.
She talks me through switchbacks
to Copper Basin. 2300 feet
elevation gain in less than 4 miles.
Time is short, but there's time.
She chooses the paint.

Jim Bodeen
30 September 2010


—for the writers at every work station

A blessing and a curse,
tap, tap, tap. Shiny pencils.
I didn't know what I wanted at 17.
I wanted out of any room and any school.
The in-between place where art
carves out our lives did not yet exist.
I didn't have the courage to say,
Nobody's on my side.

Jim Bodeen
30 September 2010


—for Elizabeth Felt

All of us.
All, surpassing our imaginations.
And I'm glad you said it out loud.
All creation healed under our own roofs.
From what matters, from the first time
I was listened to.
Following the rule of the power of air
among those who are now disobedient.
But God. And this is not your doing.
The in-between place you wear at night.
This vision we're only living into.
If I can only take this fragment
and break it open.
A future filled with hope.

JIm Bodeen
30 September 2010


—for Kaya & Lillie

Notebook on deck bench
Steam from the barista bar
Ears for the village

Jim Bodeen
30 September 2010


—for Don Coberley, Irene, & ElderVillage at Holden

In September I cross water to a village
full of my elders. I come to listen,
and work with people in the oral tradition.
I am old enough myself that government
pays my doctor bills, and I get into movies
at half price, but I'm not a wisdom keeper.

That's why I come. I walk on the side,
listen to what elders have to say.
Each year we walk with a geologist
to Ten-Mile Falls. Mostly level, cleared
of tree roots, one-mile trail to the falls.
Rocks on one side, companion

on the other, we walk with time
and through it with each step.
To do geology is to look ourselves in the rock.
What rocks have to tell us
is more important than what we call them.
Curved surfaces usually bow down.

"This is bedrock. Bedrock is the mountain,
bedrock is attached to the world," the geologist
tells us. We write in our notebooks
as he writes in his—he calls his
a logbook, writing what he observes, signing,
his name at the bottom of each page

verifying data as truth. I look at my notes.
The present is the key to the past.
Rocks are raised into the environment.
The principles of least astonishment
and superposition. Gravity works downward
and the oldest is on the bottom.

Principles are few but sobering.
The youngest cuts the oldest. Ouch.
One of my companions tells a story
about dating in horse and buggy days,
and how a horse stops out front the secret
girl friend's place exposing the two-timer.

Small crystals, quick cooling, the geologist says.
I guess so. We talk as we walk and stop each time
the geologist stops. "We are smarter than I am,"
he says. That's not geology. But it's just as good.
"There's a hole in my story only another story can find,"
I write in my notebook, remembering my mother,

listening to Irene tell her doctor story.
Her heart story, really. She had to get a second opinion
to make this journey. Her second doctor a Muslim.
"You're going to the Christian village in November,
and I'm going to Mecca in November!" he exclaims.
The world gets healed in one telling. That simple.

"Stop Four. New location. Put a pin on your map,"
the geologist says. "You've seen this before.
This is all the same stuff. This is M1. If we had
our hammers we'd bust that rock to see what
it looks like on the inside." On the inside, I repeat
to myself, astonished. New location, on the inside.

Jim Bodeen
16 September 2010
Holden Village


—for Karen Benson Bodeen

For she is the poet's basket beautiful.
For her stitch holds water.
For she sews her books in water-colored bindings.
She loves the way jewelry redirects the eye.
She doesn't tell you what it means.
She doesn't give you a piece of her mind.
She doesn't trust words.
What this artist makes is for the children.
She shows you how.

Jim Bodeen
30 September 2010

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