Chinook Goes East

All right, I should have been working on a sermon, but it was such an unusual, windy day. And I am reading too much David Whyte and Mary Oliver (poets I admire). Lethal combination. This is my last poem for awhile.

Chinook Goes East

My rocky mountain brother
posted a warning:
not much sleep
last night,
chinook howling
through rattlesnake
imagined ponderosa

That was two days ago.

She must have
raked the prairies
in record time,
dashed up allegheny
ridges and then,
plunging into
our wide and gentle valley,
dragged with her
an explosive
morning sun
to stir things up a bit.

Oh, what a day!
People made
to be outside,
breathed the moving,
light-drenched energy,
climbed on bicycles
and ladders,
shed clothes
for bathing suits,
hefted canoes
into eager waves.
the goose,
twisted and lowered
his neck like a
ready to strike.

Chipmunks squealed
in mock terror
when the wagging dog
caught a current
of nest scent
under the lamp post.
The shorter dog twitched
with the electricity of
wind in every cell
of her body,
ears flapping alert,
muzzle quivering
to a rising waft
of sun-browned pine
needles that made one’s
heart want to sink
right here and sky gaze.

While the tiger
hung onto the grass
for dear life,
petals and pods soared
with the hawks, and
honeysuckle tossed
arms so high that gusts of air
whipped them back
over the creek
like a roller coaster

on the looser side of things
didn’t bother hanging on
but simply let go, free
fell into swirls,
and rolled together on the green grass.
Even the aged
opened eyes wide
and smiled.

It was such a day
that allowed no room
for regrets,
planned no precautions
for the next.
Risk of death
revel of life
were the same.
Wild joy
of the it-is-good creation type
was enough for the time being.

That was two hours ago

before western
clouds swarmed swiftly
over the ground folks,
the breeze shifted cold
and an ash tree fell
on a friend’s house.
Paradise lost,

but for one crazy chinook
we had known absolutely it still exists.


  1. Very funny, Sometimes we all have that childlike streak, like procrastinating our chores when we were kids!

  2. Now that the sermon happened in spite of the poetry playing, I am pondering the fact that heaven should be where good work is good play and vice versa.

  3. Is it procratination or God’s inspiration? What other creature on this earth is able to create and appreciate art.

  4. And even God plays, right? (the leviathon)