Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Alphabestiary Habitatabet - for a cougar sighting

W was a woods kitty, cougarkind
slinking through the dark
paws leaving a giant mark
was here – no dogs will bark

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

temporary enlightenment


Fish witchery - found poem

Found poem at Fall River Fish Hatchery

Lost: Columbia
fishing vest.
Lost 10/4/11
during honeymoon.
If found, call Tracy.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall River Guard Station Poetry Cabin

 'ataaba for Fall River Guard station

tandoori and purple potatoes for fun
hiking and ooohing and ahhhing for sun
poeming byway places begun...
Fall River Guard Station - that's all.

calling 'woods kitties' in night-time run,
fetchment of spring water for washing – done!
candles illuminate star time stories spun ...
Fall River Guard Station – in Fall.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

headwaters of Fall River

                                     fetch water well-boiled for washing -
                                     greet the physicist hiking where no GPS goes -

                                    two hours til candles mean something.

Elk Lake Haiku Highway Trail (2010)

A one day exercise in interpretive writing featuring haiku and
the bones of a poetry trail.

Below: Ephemeral poetry installation: Seeing who salutes
at Fall River Guard Station - maybe you?

'ataaba after the byway

                    Susan Whitney

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Season Words (for haiku artists).

Season words for Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway Poetry Trail. 

There are many characteristics of haiku, and the one we’ll focus on here is the “season word.” 

Most forms of haiku include a “season word” – which is a reference to season or in some ways geography.  There is actually a list of a hundred “season words” – but some are pretty specific to Japan, such as the spring word that means “nightingale”.  If you read or hear a haiku about viewing cherry blossoms, you likely are hearing a spring poem.

Winter might be represented simply by “snow” or some variation on “cold.” But there are other concepts associated with the season – some of them cultural, like the “viewing of cherry blossoms.”

Japanese is a deliciously contextual language, and the different Japanese poetry forms often include a great deal of wordplay based on how a character can be pronounced, what it means in Japanese or Chinese, and a great deal more. In English traditions there have been a number of attempts to create a set of season words. Sometimes the traditional season words work fine for us, but sometimes they don’t. That’s why this exercise is to generate “season words” you could associate with the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway area and the “poetry trail” in particular.

            Example: Winter: Snow, cold, slush, warming fire smoke, skiers panting, elk breaking ice …

We are now creating a list of seasonal allusions relevant to this place and geography – which will also inform the official “season word list” for the poetry trail.
For those of you “from here” or familiar with the area, you might want to branch out to the other seasons. For those of you “not from here”, we invite you to imagine “what that word might be if you knew.”

In either case, submit your season word (and season you think it best conveys!) to, and we'll post them here.

Poetry Byway: You can play too.

So you're here! If you have a poem of place to share about the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway area, send it for publication here at

We invite you to an adventure in poetry – and to be published on the poetry blog and in the planned geocache collection. Highlighted below are stations along the Poetry Byway along the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway in Deschutes National Forest.

Any form of poetry is welcome to be considered for publication here!

For more info about where that "is" see - the official page about the byway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

a place that may make you its own

Amelanchier alnifolia at Wake Butte
 and how this fits
  into "a theory of surprise..."
integrated into
  occupational enterprise
while occupying
  some place of personal choice
despite traditions
  despite oligarchs and politics
learning to live
  to live in a place
that may make you its own . . .
Ralph Anderson

Sparks Lake haiku

one epoch to the next
in season - clouds, water, rocks -
life, life, life.

We won't say (Devil's Lake)

who said fall could encroach
on summertime dreams? tipsy
lodgepole point out the yellow
march across the way, and ice-
water flows the way ice water
will. nobody say "winter."

Elk Lake fireworks

Let's celebrate with fireworks
of yellow cottonwood: nobody
here much, right now, and
the joy of winter yet to come.

nothing original at North Twin Lake

   nothing original to be said
   about reflections, rocks,
   sand, or water - except that
   every experience is the first
   breath of discovery,
   over and over again. so take
   that first barefoot splash
   to stand on the warm island
   of black rock, and create
   ripples - wherever you go.

dancing paws

quarter past fog on Fall River, where
morning breaks over the meadow -
and there, just there! is the
healthiest coyote in the county,
splendid in fur and mouse-fed
fat. and there, where the road
turns in both directions at the
stop sign, a hopeful sign, in
highway yellow and black,
singing the praises of "dancing
paws mobile grooming service."
now we know where he goes.

e-card from the byway page

Want to send an e-postcard from Cascade Lakes? Go to the photo section at and select a photo -
you can create an instant e-postcard there. This one is one we sent as
part of arranging the 2011 poetry byway project.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall River sighting (bandana poem)

Are there really more cougars
lashing their tails, or are there
more tales, lashing the cougars?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tai chi at Fall River Guard Station (for Susan)

Finger, finger, finger, finger
around again
first the little one
then the one the ring goes on
then the center one, most dangerous
last of all the pointer and then
start backward, gently, gently,
swimming softly through imaginary Cool Whip
a digit at a time.
A sting! A slap! Red. A wipe.
Foamy pink. Mosquitoes, you must know
this is a martial art