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David Lee

By This Poet

4

Parowan Canyon

When granite and sandstone begin to blur
and flow, the eye rests on cool white aspen.
Strange, their seeming transparency.
How as in a sudden flash one remembers
a forgotten name, so the recollection. Aspen.
With a breeze in them, their quiet rhythms,
shimmering, quaking. Powder on the palm.
Cool on the cheek. Such delicacy
the brittle wood, limbs snapping
at a grasp, whole trees tumbling in the winds.
Sweet scent on a swollen afternoon.
Autumn, leaves falling one upon another, gold
rains upon a golden earth. How at evening
when the forest darkens, aspen do not.
And a white moon rises and silver stars
point toward the mountain, darkness
holds them so pale.
They stand still, very still.

Loading a Boar

We were loading a boar, a goddam mean big sonofabitch and he jumped out of the
pickup four times and tore out my stockracks and rooted me in the stomach and I 
fell down and he bit John on the knee and he thought it was broken and so did I 
and the boar stood over in the far corner of the pen and watched us and John and I 
just sat there tired and Jan laughed and brought us a beer and I said, "John it aint 
worth it, nothing's going right and I'm feeling half dead and haven't wrote a poem in ages 
and I'm ready to quit it all," and John said, "shit, young feller, you aint got 
started yet and the reason's cause you trying to do it outside yourself and aint 
looking in and if you wanna by god write pomes you gotta write pomes about 
what you know and not about the rest and you can write about pigs and that boar 
and Jan and you and me and the rest and there aint no way you're gonna quit," and 
we drank beer and smoked, all three of us, and finally loaded that mean bastard 
and drove home and unloaded him and he bit me again and I went in the house 
and got out my paper and pencils and started writing and found out John he was 
right.

Driving and Drinking [North to Parowan Gap]

North to Parowan Gap

Turn right up there
and get off these pavements
there aint no sense
to holding up the traffic
and we aint hurrying
you just turn there and that dirt road
goes out to the Gap
where them Indins wrote on them rocks
I remember the first time
I ever got drunk.  Me and my brother
we was following this branch back home in Misippi
when we seen a trail leading off
and he knew but I didn't
he's oldern I was and been down them trails
so's we went down and found it
any time you find a trail off a branch
you follow it . . .