Canyonlands Journal
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Three Buck Poet

The light begins to fade as evening’s chill slips in. We're at the end of a long hiking day.

We gather stones, lay out the dry desert wood, touch match to kindling and flames jump to life. We sit close for warmth while eating steaming bowls of chil.

“I found this book on the bargain table for three bucks,” Chris says, his resonant voice transporting us into the poet's world. None of us had heard of the self-published poet.

One poem is about a first girlfriend and we share our own lusty adventures with the girl-women of our boyhoods.

A second is filled with rage about the destruction of the woods the poet roamed as a boy. The pained music of his words bring to mind the clear cuts we viewed on today’s hike.

Our poet-mentor prompts us to relive our early years, share troubled relationships, talk wistfully about romance, explore the loss of parents and friends, lament the infirmities that so steadily creep in.

moths flutter
in and out
of the circle of light

Images: Mandolin Music at the Evening Fire


arches national park