Everyday Wyoming, Geology / Earth / Nature, Journal Wyoming, Poetry


I’m beginning to believe that there is a despair gene;

a cluster of code inherited from my northern ancestors,

the ones who fell into a Hellish sleep while the world froze,

the ones who didn’t make it, didn’t plan ahead by chopping

away at the forest and stacking great piles of wood, higher than

the roof tops. The ones who drank all the beer and roasted meat

meant for winter, long before the sun had abandoned

the sky and began its incremental return. The ones who were

plant people, turning into brown rattling leaves that held

their fuel in deep roots like the trees, waiting, waiting

for the sun; perhaps they became the chanters, the storytellers

around someone else’s fire, those who traveled from camp to camp,

edging closer to the warm lands until one bright nose among them

caught a change in the air and the distant sniff of flowers,

from Spain, or Rome or Constantinople. Off they went; barbarian

sightseers in a land of riches, becoming beach people and

consummate partiers in the grand places of sun and surf, of gold,

and jewels and sanitation.


Unfortunately my ancestors returned to the land of their stories;

to Neanderthal giants, sea heroes and daring winter sports,

to a landscape of foggy glaciers and moonlight on snow, and chose

the dark forests and mountain passes, and a kind of madness,

because it was home. What masochists they must have been,

and sadists too, passing down in the mud-weary centuries of sex

a fragment of DNA that encodes the despair of winter.


BigDrift 8 wp

The irony is that I find winter to be beautiful, 
but the long descent into darkness uncovers a deep fissure 
within. I don't remember experiencing this before moving 
to Wyoming; the isolation that is freeing the rest of the 
year, becomes a cage.

Poetry Day / Winter DNA