Heft of quilt layers

quiets my restless body

A partner’s calm breath

Worth getting up for

New word for last night’s haiku

Now go back to sleep

Jim Bodeen

29 December 2022


Storypath/Cuentocamino: : LOS HUESOS/TRES POEMAS//TRES CULTURAS: LOS HUESITOS, TRES POEMAS / TRES CULTURAS At this point the original poem no longer exists. No existe. In its original nacimiento, it arrive...




Long drive to worship last night.

Dad and Father Hopkins in my head.

Roads dark, icy. I tell Karen

how the bells lift me up.

I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t ringing bells.

Bells ringing—and then she rings the bells.

Do you know Fr. Hopkins’ poem, Nondum?

We’re early so bell ringers

can practice and I sit close in the pew.

I’ve brought my notebook

and the poems of Father Hopkins

opening by chance to Nondum

with an epigraph from Isaiah,

Verily Thou art a God that hideth Thyself.

We read our psalms but get

no answer back. Bells are ringing now,

and Starla comes over to say hello.

She asks me how I’m doing

and I say, Thank God for the bells,

to which she, a bell ringer, says, Amen.

Her mother gave these bells to us.

Father Hopkins, I echo your poem.

My prayer seems lost in desert ways.

A woman tells me I’m reading the lessons tonight.

I’m off by a night. I thought I was reading at Christmas.

Reading for a service that doesn’t exist.

As we drive in the dark, I think,

I’m learning to make reports in the Notebook.

The choir is ringing a Ukrainian Bell Carol.

These reports to God. I’m learning.

They’re just reports. Daily reports.

I thank my dad for this, remembering

when he was sick. I learned how to report all of it

without wincing. You never got to see that, Dad.

After the bells ring,

I get to stand up and read from Isaiah,

For all the boots of the tramping warriors

and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned.

Karen’s place is in the front row on the left.

I take a picture of the choir and of Bart at the piano.

Bells ringing, they lift this line from Father Hopkins,

Yet know not how our gifts to bring.

Jim Bodeen

24 December 2022





Three degrees isn’t the low

on this walk, there’s wind

from the west. Pause

at Solstice, redemption

isn’t immediate

and it’s a darker snow

in the poet’s inclinations

as he, too walks helpless

before the frozen world,

hard gold to love,

a mother’s milk,

Dr. Williams reminds us

Come in out of the cold,

One can’t report this extreme

and your story-telling

during the year

can’t be improved upon

now, hard hard gold

Jim Bodeen

22 December 2022





My walking stick, mi bicho palito,

mi bastón

punches through ice and snow,

perfora el hielo y la nieve,

chasqueando dos veses

hasta llegar al pavimento,

clicking twice reaching pavement.

Trabajadores rompiendo la tierra

Workers with post-hole shovels

take turns trying to break through the ice.

Los Huesitos, la empresa mexicana de vallas

tiene tres camiones, y una docena de trabajadores

rompiendo la tierra para vallas de plástico

Los Huesitos,

The Mexican Fence Company,

has three trucks and a dozen workers

breaking ground for plastic fences.

Los huesos.

Los huesos y los palos.

Los huesos, the bones.

Bones and sticks.

¿Es posible poner los huesitos

en la tierra fría, la tierra congelados?


The old man who walks the development,

greeting them as he passes by.

El viejo caminando apoyado en una muletilla.

El viejo que camina por la urbanización

saludando a su paso.

The workers, excavadoras de postes.

Agujeros, stop to let him through,

The workers ask again--Eh?

I’m the stranger, here.

Soy estranjero en esta huerta arrancada,

this orchard turned housing development.

Soy el extraño en esta huerta arrancada,

esta huerta convertida en urbanización.

¿Ya sabes o ya no sabes?

There’s a plastic fence around my house too.

Hay una valla plástico alrededor de mi casa también

¿Es posible poner los huesitos en la tierra fria,

la tierra congelado?

Mi bastón está cortado de un álamo.

Más bicho palo que bastón.

Más muleta de torero exiliado.

El viejo caminante,

su bastón es su poema,

Walking stick of a poet.

My walking stick is cut from a cottonwood tree.

Más bicho palo que bastón.

Más muleta de torrero exiliado.

The old man walking,

his walking stick is his poem,

El Palo de Poeta.

Jim Bodeen

16 December 2022


Palitos, huesitos

Mi bastón, mi bicho palito,

perfora el hielo y la nieve,

chasqueando dos veces hasta llegar al pavimento.

Los trabajadores con palas

se turnan para intentar romper el hielo.

Los Huesitos,

la empresa mexicana de vallas,

tiene tres camiones y una docena de trabajadores

rompiendo la tierra para vallas de plástico.

Los huesos.

Los huesos y los palos.

¿Es posible poner los huesitos

en la tierra fría, la tierra congelada?


El viejo que camina por la urbanización

saludando a su paso.

El viejo caminando apoyado en una muletilla.

Los obreros, excavadoras de postes.

Los agujeros, paran para dejarle pasar,

preguntan de nuevo... ¿Eh?

Soy el extraño, aquí.

Soy extranjero en esta huerta arrancada,

esta huerta convertida en urbanización.

¿Ya sabes o ya no sabes?

También hay una valla de plástico alrededor de mi casa.

¿Es posible poner los huesitos en la tierra fría,

la tierra congelada?

Mi bastón está cortado de un álamo.

Más bicho palo que bastón.

Más muleta de torero exiliado.

El viejo caminante,

su bastón es su poema,

El Palo de Poeta.

Jim Bodeen




for Jacqueline and Alexi

My walking stick, mi huesito, mi bicho palito,

punches through ice and snow,

clicking twice reaching pavement.

Workers with post-hole shovels

take turns trying to break through the ice.

Fuertes Los Huesitos,

The Mexican Fence Company,

has three trucks and a dozen workers

breaking ground for plastic fences.

Los huesos, the bones.

Bones and sticks.

¿Es posible poner los huesitos

en la tierra fria, la tierra congelada?

Claro que es posible.


The old man who walks the development,

greeting them as he passes by.

El viejo caminando apoyado en un baston.

The workers, excavadoras de postes.

Agujeros, stop to let him through,

ask again--Eh?

I’m the stranger, here.

Soy estranjero en esta huerta arrancada,

this orchard turned housing development,

to give me a better life,

to make my dream come true

¿Ya sabes o ya no sabes?

There’s a plastic fence around my house too.

¿Es posible poner los huesitos en la tierra fria,

la tierra congelada?

Claro que es posible.

My walking stick is cut from a cottonwood tree.

Más bicho palo que bastón.

Más muleta de torero exiliado.

The old man walking,

his walking stick is his poem,

his poems make him feel alive,

El Palo de Poeta.

Jim Bodeen

16 December 2022




Too icy to go out

where will steps come from today

Stay in clean kitchen

Jim Bodeen

13 December 2022




City trucks huddle in Walmart Parking Lot

under the lights,

Sunday before seven

Snow expected any time

Two trucks with gravel

Safe underfoot to walk

Ancestors will let us know

when they’re good

when all that stuff

they took with them is gone

Jim Bodeen

11 December 2022




the old fashioned question,


What are people for?

I walk around the short block

saying to myself,

Keep going

You’re not ready to come in

Jim Bodeen

11 December 2022




Cookies for friends

Spicy Raisin, Raisin Puffup,

followed by Carrot Cake Cookies

with three-and-a-half cups carrots

Walking the development, taking pictures

in the near dark, afterwalking even walking,

even, like landscaping, a bobcat

camoflaged with a motor running

I telll my friends I like a dangerous cookie

Karen asking as I walk out the door,

Are you walking the development

Out there--

I re-tie my boots

tighten things up

kneel in the snow, take my gloves off,

walk back to that sold house

and take that one picture

before fitting my fingers

back into the gloves

frozen notes too thumb-written

on the iPhone

Afterwalking I say to my friend in a letter

Afterwalking is a noun

it’s a practice, it’s ovenwork

Jim Bodeen

10 December 2022




Two and a half miles this morning in the driveway

One set of tire tracks is what I’m looking for

If I’d put on snow shoes neighbors would understand

You could put on skis today!

Ancestral prayers are not timed or tied

My mother is with me this morning

She’s here without a sign

I don’t hear or see a thing

No voices in this snow

On this walk I can’t figure out my own sadness

this edgy-like anger disturbance

while this quiet beautyway

This Blessingway knows

I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve circled this block

where they’ve yet to build houses

My legs are stiff and cold

My jacket and pants are wet

Snow is turning to rain

One day this sadness will not be part of this walk

Ancestors heal one at a time under different conditions

One day my mother will no longer suffer

Jim Bodeen

10 December 2022




Let’s see where this walk takes me

Connecting the dots like I change my shoes

Now that I’ve quit writing poems

I’m a much funnier man

Jim Bodeen

8 December 2022




On Crown Crest up to 62d

There’s a Spanish radio station

broadcast from inside the hollow garage

Workers still in orange sweatshirts

listening to World Cup

a skill saw sings and shouts go up

when Brazil scores

It’s early half light and snowing

Trucks still warm the workers

An onan running

roofers already clacking away

Walking the development

where no houses were

Where grandchildren gleaned pears

in the orchard

These big belts carrying worker’s tools

hang heavy on the hips

Must weigh 20 pounds

Wound one around the waist

working on a Habitat House this spring

Still no houses on Whitman Avenue

street sign although a raven

sat on top of it during yesterday’s walk

Jim Bodeen

6 December 2022




Finding the right notes

Practice won’t hade your weak song

That ice under foot

Jim Bodeen

5 December 2022




Walmart parking lot

6 am under the lights

Sunday walking blues

4 December 2022


Fall asleep reading

Lose my Parker pen in bed

Wake stressed at midnight

Jim Bodeen

4 December 2022




Feeeling the bone in my foot

while still in bed

I wonder about walking

into the kitchen

to put on the coffee

Lacing my boots

after putting out the candles

I look out the window

at the gray sky

Jim Bodeen

3 December 2022




This is a statement.

I did some research.

“There is no way I know of walking past the end of the road or singing

past the last silence. There’s only the way to walk while the light lasts

and the road lasts and the song lasts.”

Tom Lea in the Preface to The Brave Bulls, 1949.

“These are Mountain songs, Woman songs, Talking God songs, and songs

of Returning Home. These last songs are used in case the one-sung-over

has been a prisoner of war.”

Frank Mitchell, Navajo Blessingway Singer

I did some reading.

Pretty important Texas man.

I’m calling this walk

The Blessingway Walk

I came to it late

but it lifted me

when I was lost in it.

These many parts to the morning

before sunrise with candles.

You know all about candles.

I’m out there

before they turn off the streetlights.


29 November 2022




These are ok. They’re good.

I’ve been in them a couple weeks.

No. Really. The shoes are good.

The problem’s not the shoes.

The problem’s in my left foot.

What’s that?

That left big toe is 77 years old.

What about the right foot?

It's good.

Big toe on the right foot don’t act its age.

Jim Bodeen

21 November 2022






but of course!

The monk as athlete.

Just a half breath

from the athlete of prayer.

He’d get himself in better shape.

He rose earlier and earlier,

and David’s psalms

sang to him as they did

when he was a child.

He walked his neighborhood alone

while his neighbors slept,

and during these November mornings

poems he’d memorized over the years

began arriving like old friends,

and one day, Father Merton himself,

could it be? ...seemed to be walking

with him, whispering in his ear,

You Sister, have chosen a path

too steep for others to follow.

Jim Bodeen

11-20 November 2022

*TO A SEVERE NUN by Thomas Merton




    for BG 

Midnight crisp, stars out

Big winds bringing in your birthday

Coffee-talk singing


8 November 2022




–for Lee Bassett

My friend says he likes my walking poem

but doesn’t know Archimandrite Aimilianos,

Elder Aimilianos, as he’s called at Simonopetra,

or even the Coptic Psalter, but

it doesn’t bother him. Is it, he asks,

the same Archie Bell & the Drells,

who sang, Tighten up? Exactly,

Exactly, I say. One and the same.

There’s a rumored

recording of the evening they spent

riffing in honor of the Desert Fathers,

playing on one-legged stools

to keep them alert and upright.

To keep them from the fall.

It is said, too, they were competitive,

that they cried, Foul!

when they were outlasted

by the monk on bass.

Jim Bodeen

17 November 2022

Triptych for KC



I. This is the Lord’s doing

And it is marvelous in our eyes

Psalm 118

Front porch, red chair, coffee on, mid-September, waiting.

KC is on his way here.

He made my Chaco Stick wound in white rope

when I left work two decades past.

This beginning, beginning its 19th year.

Chaco Stick on front porch this morning.

This liminal space tucked behind Little Cherry Twist.

This Chaco Stick for Chaco Canyon.

Chaco Stick brought back.

Time-bound. We were time-bound together.

Believing we were the best, knowing we were least likely

for all things knowing. He took children

into ancient ways and dark skies.

Led from Kiva to Kiva. Go up to go down.

When I left that room that led to visions for the young

I followed him into the Canyon, dark stones

under starlit skies in a small, one-man tent

before entering the desert monastery,

that mountain-lifted liminal Christ site.

Praise for pilgrim-sinners in their child-like joy.

Notebook and camera, singing psalms walking

while traveling to the Holy City.

They shall go from strength to strength.

One might say he brought me here.

Here? Chaco Canyon? That, too.

Christ in the Desert. He helped build

that monastery, St. John’s, the Baptist home.

Closer to home on Satus Pass,

where Karen and I stopped in July

to buy cheesecakes, having once been

a capful of vanilla from the secret recipe,

come from Denise and not the Coptics.

Were we led here by cheesecakes?

Led to these small books, this visual delight,

light display. Monographs housing single essays

by Archimandrite Aimilianos. This Mt. Athos Elder,

his Daily Report to God, his Fools for Christ,

this prudent thing to hold for path-walking.

He’s on his way, he calls, Am I too late?

Is it too late to come out?

II. All that I have is my sense of purpose, my affliction,

and my calling out in that affliction. My affliction is my asceticism,

it is my practice, my way of life, something

that I offer to God.

Elder Archimandrite Aimilianos. Psalms and the Life of Faith. p. 320

So we should not want to do the divine part ourselves and expect God

to do what is our responsibility.

A Night in the desert of the Holy Mountain

Metropolitan of Nafpaktos

Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, the sinner.

The Jesus Prayer

He had just finished building

his father’s coffin, and I had been reading

the Coptic Psalter, and asking for a guide.

His father’s obituary would be

in the paper after our talk. Now

at work on another coffin. His father,

a protestant missionary. I arrived here

through Rilke, And you know, he whom

they flee is the one you move toward.

I wouldn’t be ready for the distance between us.

My practice of matins self-serving

to monks beginning with The Six Psalms,

Matins, read in order, or an all-night vigil,

stand quietly, put aside all other thoughts.

My God, unto Thee I rise early at dawn.

Compunction will start you, take you to compassion.

The poet, like the eldest child, claiming

first rights and aligned with the Baptist,

wants this, at first checking discipline, perhaps

a way for him to the beloved,

to catch the attention of the Muse,

perhaps, too, he knows he’s lost,

good as he is, that good, and he

knows he’s pretty good. Compunction.

I had been that far off.

Walking in dark mornings,

The spiritual athlete begins his many steps.

In the solemnity of the hour, this.

Soul-pain. Soul-agony.

Soul-sorrow, Soul-wrestling.

Stopping on a mountain pass for cheesecake

with his wife, and this. Stopping here,

is an action performed.

Reading this verse, Elder Aimilianos writes,

It is like watching a man die.

I have been called out of myself.

This is the walking before sunrise.

Walking in the dark, before lights

go on in houses, I’m the late arrival.

That boat in the garage is for me.

III. Om, shanti, shanti, shanti

From ignorance, lead me to truth;

from darkness, lead me to light;

from death lead me to immortality,

Om peace, peace, peace

(Brihadaranyaku Upshanit--

KC to B

He writes these lines on the inside book cover

of the book he sends in the mail--

Metropolitan’s night on Mt. Athos with the Gerondis.

Don’t ask for names.

Begin this walk in the dark before Six,

listening to Leonard Cohen Tribute

and it’s cold. Gray wool gloves

for the mountain, Sherpa stocking cap,

Chaleco desde montañas en México,

worn under lightweight puff jacket. Lime green

running shoes light the road

when the odd car with its headlights

reveal a man walking. Head lights imagine

a prayer rope in the man’s front pants pocket.

The athlete of the Jesus prayer is a stranger

to every form of pride. Imagine the man singing,

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, by Cannonball Adderley.

It is 1966. It is 2022. It is November.

Jim Bodeen

25 July—4 November 2022

May this be born of gratitude for KC. jb




--for K, T, V, K

After-walking with first coffee before sunrise and psalms, lighting two candles. This altar collection below, an after-fall, a gleaning. Three painted match boxes, three polished stones, four tiny crosses from El Salvador. All gifts, themselves gathered as if sentient. Candles, too, had arrived wrapped and unmerited. Fall of life, full of color, each touched with hand-held back-story light-shade and bees wax.

The match boxes hand-painted by a friend. Each one paint-raised, lifted, solid circles, three circles on each, three color-rich song tones and bright. Lift one and it rattles. This one, a painted orange box, its one green circle the outer ring, center ring yellow and hot-to-the-touch red in the center. Red target-red, fire circle red, and dying-fire-red as if sunset dusted. Unsigned match boxes, come from the fire of a friend coming through fire, recalling my sister’s offhand telling of her bare-feet fire-walk this spring over hot coals when there was no fire in the forest. These red targets of redemption. This match-box painting friend, a woman, a poet, and serious student of archetypes and Jungian psychology. It is under-stood between them that she is sending another telling of the little girl and the match-box. The matches inside are meant to burn more than kindling. They come from one who knows how to build a hot fire, a fire that will not burn out. I am not told how to build a fire myself, not directly, but implications are clear: Build a hotter fire. It strikes me,--

here, the candles have been forgotten entirely. The candles, too, had come from a friend,

a man, a poet, who came to town to read some baseball poems. And there had been pie. He had taken two candle sticks from shelves behind the pantry closet and put them on the coffee table. How hot do candles burn? Excuse the digression. It was not my intention to enter into the wonders of archetypes

or death psychology (is it supposed to be depth psychology), but several weeks ago, some El Salvadoran crosses I had given to a pastor friend were found in cleaning out her desk drawers were returned to me, and without thinking, I placed them around the candle sticks. Each morning I’ve been struck as if striking a match by the mirror images of the crosses to the match boxes. Nearly exact in size. The smaller crosses fit into a match box. I share this to give you a sense of proportion. The match box is not a coffin. If you have never seen an El Salvadoran cross, or, for that matter, worn one, you’re missing out. El Salvadoran crosses are crosses of life. But to go back.

El Salvadoran crosses are hand-painted by children in primary colors. Their bright colors tell the story of el pueblo. Mi gente. I have placed one cross, the bright green, on my notebook where I’m writing this, in order to look at it more closely. The crosses, made of wood, are painted in enamel. Bright, deep, rich. (My earlier infatuation with fossil-fueled sports cars from England would call the color of this two-inch cross, British Racing Green.) Enough of this spotted-fragmented and lost past, my story is rural, poor, not material. I sit before these candles as one who has talked his way around faith. This tiny cross on my notebook comes with seven, yes seven, painted images.

From the top right, a portion, or piece of the sun, bright red morning with yellow rays, part for the whole. Child-inspired. Painters and poets employ this technique in their daily lives. (This cross was most likely painted by an older child.) (Yes, there’s a word for it.) Descending the vertical upright post, its tree, is a large, tropical flower, red, orange, yellow and green, out-sized here, and brilliantly full, filling the entire width of the painted wood. Beautiful, where the body of Jesus would traditionally be seen, or, be, in other cross traditions. Beneath the flower, a white dove in flight. And below the dove, a yellow chalice, its base unseen, off the cross but inside the cup, what appears to be a large white orb. This image is made more important by seven tiny black and radiating brush strokes surrounding the orb, perhaps ‘egg’ is a more accurate word. I wonder if my friend who gave me the painted match boxes, knows about El Salvadoran crosses. Or has one? If she doesn’t, I could give her one of these surrounding the candle sticks around the quilted panel on the altar, which is also a coffee table. The hand-made table-runner sewn by wife, in ten story-telling squares. Table-running and fire. Walking across fire-coals.

I suspect you know about the coffee table. Its patience also understood. But wait, I’m not finished. This one cross has more to offer.

On the right crossbar (horizontal) crossing the intersection, a small, swimming fish, red scales, blue fins and blue tail. A white head and one white eye. On the other side of the bar, and also on the other side of the tropical flower, is the largest cluster of purple grapes--they wouldn’t fit into your largest cereal bowl from your kitchen, complete with green leaves and wooden vines. Each grape in the cluster must be less than one-sixteenth of an inch. Cluster-this-packed. Grapes this ripe. Grape cluster larger than the dove, than the fish. This cross, this bright green cross (and speaking of things happening in intersections, last night, another friend, immigrant, undocumented, sends an image on my Iphone of an umbrella, paragua,in Spanish: a deluge of rain, with this: Los libros, Las mentes, y los paraguas Solo sirven Si se abren—books, ideas, umbrellas, they only work if they’re open. She’s Mexicana. Her husband, deported, is from El Salvador.

This cross, this bright green cross on my notebook, and all the crosses, all the match books, original, this green one fits in my hand, is not a crucifixion or a crucifix, but a cross of life. Say it again. This is not my imagination ballooning on you. These village images make up the essence of the El Salvadoran cross. Nor does this cross negate what the crossbars on any cross points to—that being those two other crosses on each side of Jesus, to his left and to his right, the two criminals, Barrabas, and the other one for whom we have no name, the first congregation theologians tell us. How far we’ve come.

El Salvadorans call their crosses trees of liberation, trees of life. They are, well, they’re beautiful, objects of beauty, which is to say, crosses that arrive with stories. They are crosses that come with suffering, and they cross through sorrow to joy. These, certainly, like the matchboxes, like the candle sticks, like the candles wrapped in tissue by my friend, the ones resting on the table runner. Everything rests here, but the crosses are meant to be worn around the neck. They come with an eyelet wound into its top or apex, so that a string can go through. They are crosses of experience, of suffering and trouble

and resurrection, crosses of pilgrims, gardens, children walking to school. They mirror match boxes in size and detail. They are fun-filled and full of fun. And lit each morning by candles, candles running down, light descending. Color-filled and resting beside polished stones, which I enjoy along with the psalms each morning in this softest of light, the warmest of fires.

Jim Bodeen

21 May 2022—16 October 2022




    ...seeing the peace of sinners

        --Psalm 72

That day he made raspberry jam.

He’d picked the berries

two days earlier.

Second harvest of red and golden

from the berry farm

a couple of miles from his home.

The frozen kind.

That afternoon, walking the development

where construction workers with hammers

built homes in the uprooted, torn-out orchard

where his grandchildren gleaned apples,

he felt wind blowing dirt from backhoes,

and smoke in his eyes from Goat Rocks Fire

where he still hiked and skied,

he remembered—he and his wife

were serving meals that evening at Camp Hope,

the shelter. He’d have to pick it up.

These men, los marjinados, wearing

hooded orange sweatshirts for sun protection.

The builders. Not the homeless.

His wife had told him

Julie had made sixteen loaves

of bread that day. He’d been reading

the 72d Psalm for two weeks.

He couldn’t get past it.

From the Coptic Psalter. That, too.

He had failed to move on.

But Thou art my portion.

That one came to him

from Sandy Hook seven years ago.

Mi herencia.

Marked in his bilingual Santa Biblia.

All this moving and he’s still stuck.

He would take some jam

with him for Julie to the shelter.

Jim Bodeen

11 October 2022

On the street where He lives


On the street where He lives

Released from writing

Not from the practice

Jim Bodeen

5 October 2022




           for Megan

hanging from a spider web

on an old growth tree

while hiking Box Canyon

with your dad, my brother,

on Mt. Rainier,

years ago, surfaces this morning.

This cross is for Sunny crossing.

Sunny, who could bite, and did,

is with St. Francis. Your companion,

Sunny, this cross, and the 10,000 ways

animals live among us

showing us how to love.

Uncle Jim

5 August 2022






    --for Chuck and Vonnie

Oh, thank you, but not from me!

Gratitude comes from Chuck!

No, no, I got it from you.

That can’t be. It was given to me.

How could I not know that, Vonnie.

How would I know.

You send me gratefulness

every day in the mail. Take this trail.

Three siblings passing on the gift,

like the desert fathers

not knowing how to start a fight,

beginning with the brick.

Just say, The brick is mine.

OK, it’s mine. No, it’s mine.

OK, you take it.


22 September 2022




Greeting my wife

with a kiss this morning

as she comes into the room

she whispers,

Go hike a mountain

Jim Bodeen

1 September 2022




Sore left feet

Two of them

Two sore left feet

Two left feet sore

Two of them?

How is that possible?

One is Karen’s

One is mine

Jim Bodeen

1 September 2022




from Railroad Creek

at Holden Village, the old copper mine

turned retreat center where

she just returned from. She

was there with Israel, her husband--

It’s his birthday today!,--we’re out

on the patio eating pie and ice cream.

We spent ten years with them,

the abrecaminos, at Holden Village,

mining our hearts, cruzando fronteras,

but didn’t go this summer.

Bertha hands me this stone

saying, This mountain

has come down to you.

Afterwards, Israel, whispers

in my ear, as he sings,

Caminos de Michoacán.

Nobody can hear as we take

the one road out of Quiroga.

Jim Bodeen

22 August 2022

Mil gracias, Bertha y Israel!