From Listen to the Wind
Listen to the sacred wind
circle in gusts of its own making.

 

Listen to the leaden sea of sparse white-crested ripples

as it carries the saints over turbulence and undertow.

 

Listen to the miracles this island beholds,

where no one falls ill, no one dies too soon,

among the twenty thousand in its naming.

 

                            Aberdaron, North Wales, 1999
See Preface/Backstories
 

Conversation

 

My son has a job…

See that guy over there …
emotionally, he's still sixteen.

            … with cute buns and white hat?

 

See that guy over there

Never works more than three hours at a time . . .

Cute buns! White hat!

he can't face the real world . . .

 

never works more than three hours at a time . . .

See his partner, clinging to his side?

can't face the real world.

That's the new look, they say!

 

See his partner, clinging to his side?

He graduated two years ago . . .

That's the new look, they say!

today's his first day . . .

 

he graduated two years ago . . .

We didn't dress like that fifty years ago . . .

today's his first day.

           … when I worked for doctors.

 

We didn't dress like that . . .

Spends his time hanging out with friends . . .

           … when I worked for doctors.

I didn't go that way . . .

 

hanging out with friends.

To the racetrack? Get the bus at Northgate!

I didn't go that way . . .

I spend my time reading racing forms . . .

 

           . . . at the racetrack. I get the bus at Northgate!

emotionally, he's still sixteen . . .

I spend my time reading racing forms . . .

my son has a job.

 

Keystone-Port Townsend Ferry, WA; 1996 (1997)


See
 Backstories (continued)

Who Are These Men?

 

Who are these men on Aberconwy Quay,

Quaffing ale and laughing at life

As storm clouds gather over the Irish Sea,

This sun-swept afternoon in May?

 

Who are these fishermen with swarthy brow

And Hellenic mien, nets stowed, keels listing,

Whose tides ebbed from this headland crown

Before Normans and Saints claimed their shore?

 

Who are these shaggy-mane minstrels,

Poets from the bowels of wasted valleys,

With hymns of faith and fervid revival,

Singing away suffering and despair?

 

Who are these lads on the village dole,

Who spurn Westminster’s decree

To salute the sign of Liverpool Arms

In the profanity of their native tongue?

 

These are the princes of Cymru,

The men who jostle on Aberconwy Quay,

Quaffing ale and laughing at life

As storm clouds gather over the Irish Sea.

 

Conwy, Wales, (1995)

See Backstories (continued)

Richard Lee Dick Harris

IV. Voices (excerpts)

    This River Sings

 

Snow, avalanche, and scree;

creeks, ponds, and seeps,

collect in reverberating rush,

cascade in mountain pools,

eddies glazed undercurrents.

 

Mosquitoes and deerflies,

humorless protein,

psalmic multitudes,

survive winter’s minus.

 

Spring, tempered and wet,

its creeks quicken and swirl.

Tawny duff and flecks of sun

conceal newly dropped fawns.

 

Eagle, salmon, and raven

sing this river’s song—

sing as it flows—

dammed,

tunneled,

diverted!


This river sings as it

sprays cool mist,

splashes rocks with

syncopated rim-shots.


Cottonwoods rustle in tenor,

maples in baritone,

as softly this river sings

through mist and fog.

 

Softly, its spirits sing

of a mountain’s ashes

rising in evening drafts.

 

Wild and free, this river sings.

 

Upper Skagit River, WA (2009)

See Preface/Backstories.