Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Image courtesy of Noel Zia Lee

My camera is temporarily lost and nothing terribly interesting is happening here this week, so here's another poem I wrote. I'm having fun with this.


Larger in my own mind than I am in reality, I step off the ferryboat, embarassing grandmother and other baggage in tow.

We eat cheeseburgers at an old cafe with a rainbow on the sign and the faint odor of dead salmon on the patron in the seat behind me. Farewell to civilization.

I am 12 years old and far from home, driving the 10 mile road past ruined cemeteries full of prospectors and fishermen, forgotten names on whitewashed tombstones, to the house my uncle built by hand when tales of his grandfather's travels lured him North and West and into the woods, never to return.

I am loosed from 20th Century moorings and vaguely uneasy, awed as I am by Cathedral Peaks and trees that stretch to heaven. It's a wilder wilderness than I have seen before, older and more fearsome and I can see now in its treatment of the old rundown fishing shacks and the wary eye the dog casts to the woods what is meant by the words "fear of God." It is magnificent.

In a plane the size of a minivan we soar above ice the size of fear. Above pools of water that ring in purple, green and indigo like the drawing of a child who is tired of the colour blue.

I wonder if it is really possible that thousands of miles away there is such a thing as a suburb and a home. A strange calm washes over me as I see myself for the first time in the right proportion, properly small.

I feel shaken and hungry, held on the edge of a vastness reason cannot explain and certain that I will never again worry about getting to math class on time, or the price of milk. Set apart by sanity to wander all my days.


  1. What a beautiful poem... you are so talented, and I feel like I am right there with you at 12 years old. "ice the size of fear"... wow. Great imagery.

  2. I can well imagine how Alaska would put things in a new perspective--I have felt similarly when faced with seeing oceans, mountains, glaciers and giant forests.