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On the Last Day of a Long Dark Year

Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • IP December 31, 2019, 11:38 AM

    Gotta be 10 years I’ve been coming here, I don’t know for sure. Again I’ll say thank you for your time. Wishing you a very happy 2020 GvL. Bless you

  • James ONeil December 31, 2019, 12:13 PM

    Snyder (AKA Japhy Ryder); Dang, I didn’t realize the old fart is still alive, he’s eight years older than I am!

    & I do have to admit, his rants and writings had a lot to do with my becoming a card carrying member of the church of latter day beatniks and in 1960 hitchhiking from Gainesville, Florida to NYC with my buddy John.

    We got a ride with a young kid in the Carolinas. He saw my army duffel bag & started explaining how he was a GI, airborne, Screamin’ Eagles for quite a while. Later he packed up another hitch hiker, a sailor in uniform. He explained to him how he was in the Navy, etc., etc. We noticed he was a wee bit on the drunk side. He’d speed like hell on those mountain roads, imagine there was a cop behind him, and slow down to 10 or 20 mph for a while, until he forgot and would speed up again. This went on for quite a while until, in Virginia, there really was a cop behind him that pulled us over. He cried and told the cop how he never ever done anything like this before & how his father was a cop who died in the line of duty, etc., etc. Cop didn’t arrest him but did follow us us all into town where he told the kid to park and sober up. It was raining hard out & the cop told John & I we could sleep in the cells (not arrested or anything) if we wanted to but how if we did regulations required that cell doors be locked. After thinking about it for less than a second, we thanked him and refused his kind offer.

    Getting to NYC, rented a basement (2 room) apartment on the East Village, lower east side, 7th street just off avenue B.

    & that’s how I ending up writing and reading my poetry in Village coffee houses while, very sensibly not giving up my day jobs.

  • ck December 31, 2019, 2:38 PM

    If this was a dark year, I’ll take several more. Thank you very much.

  • Dave smith January 1, 2020, 1:47 PM

    At the College of Marin April 17th 1979 following his lecture Gary Snyder signed a copy of Myths and Texts for me and then said to me “I’m sorry I signed it in the wrong place” so he signed it again.
    There are Haikus galore in such a moment.

  • Anonymous January 5, 2020, 10:11 AM

    The view from the Aerie…