POETRY

Oregon Way

By

Gone are the curls of smoke,
gone are the tears in the eyes.
They've vanished up the coughing flue
into the pouring skies.

It's rain that holds us in
and makes us look without—
the sateen mosses on the trees,
hornwort, liverwort.

Wring out the clouds, my lady.
Tumble them into your arms.
We're passing all day the wet bales of hay
on soft fermenting farms

where sloughs and marshes darken,
salted by rising tides,
and the wet squalls charge at the wipers,
and only the road abides.

David Mason’s books of poems include The Buried Houses, The Country I Remember, and Arrivals. His verse novel, Ludlow, was also featured on the PBS News Hour. Author of a collection of essays, The Poetry of Life and the Life of Poetry, he published a memoir, News from the Village, in 2010. A new collection of essays, Two Minds of a Western Poet, followed in 2011. Mason has also written the libretti for composer Lori Laitman’s opera of The Scarlet Letter, her operatic adaptation of Ludlow, and her oratorio, Vedem. In addition, he has edited or co-edited several anthologies and textbooks. He serves as Poet Laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2014.

Gone are the curls of smoke,
gone are the tears in the eyes.
They've vanished up the coughing flue
into the pouring skies.