Poetry

My poetry has been widely published in journals, including Shenandoah, Pontoon, Avatar Review, Analysands Speak, The Evergreen State College and Central Washington Universities’ literary publications, Snow Monkey, Raven Chronicles, Vox Populi, Voices in Wartime, Minotaur and more. I have won awards from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Washington State Poetry Association, Centrum, Artist Trust and Jack Straw.

OROGENY

Paradox and illusion define this coast
built by the subduction of Juan de Fuca plate.
This is the birthplace of mountainous rock
where magnetic reversals align
themselves against the pole’s forces
and we struggle to define history.

While we walk, I analogize history
as struggle: a beating against the coast
of our beings, our internal forces
dragged down by sinking plates,
morphosed dense material fighting to align
and not to align, like this rock.

Walking a rhythmic heel-toe, I rock
back and forth between geologic history
and my own.  My body aligns
itself with the waves along this coast.
I try to think about tectonic plates,
avoid all reference to internal forces.

But these are not to be denied, these forces
that push against what I want to know, that rock
my belief, leaving me with an empty plate,
making me face my history, our history,
unable any longer simply to coast
on an ignorance of what does not align.

And then I see it.  There is a line
beyond which we have crossed.  It forces
collisions and collapse.  We cannot coast
safely past this rough rock
because it is made of habit and history.
It is the stuff of which we have filled our plates.

This story is dark with lithograph plates
that do not equally align.
We have printed an orogenic history
full of anticlines and stratified forces.
This shifting sandstone is the rock
that built our coast.

So we must leave the coast, trudge the uplifted plate
where a horseshoe of rock moves solidly along a line.
We must attend these forces and shape our own history.

Originally Published in Raven Chronicles