Man-made Hell

Spring Fire from La Veta, CO. As of Saturday evening, the fires have consumed over 41,000 acres of forest and an undetermined amount of homes. No human lives have been lost. Photography by Rheanne Velie

My husband was interviewed today by a news crew while walking with our daughter to the library. As if we locals didn’t have enough fire to worry about, they were out to stoke the flames of emotion and incite reactionary anger to the cause of this whole disaster: a reclusive middle-aged man with [hashtag] “delete the elite” strewn across his social media accounts, was burning trash near his home in Forbes Park, despite the fire ban. The broadcaster asked Joshua what he thought of this hot-off-the-press information, and he replied,  Read More


Full Moon Flint

Photo by Trapper Collova taken yesterday evening. Now the fire is massive and just a few miles west of us.

Full moon flint
Strike the talussed edge
Of human solicitude Read More


Pine beetle art

Beetles get beneath the skins of conifers leaving mountainsides of standing dead. Kindling for the next heated debate. We haven’t had fireworks (or something to unitedly celebrate) for years and now it hurts to breathe the dry, crackling air. Nose bleeds before breakfast.

Who craves this combustible atmosphere, rumors for paramours and oracular paths beneath barkskins? The wild grass is bleached before June and everyone is swayed in the winds. Sharpened filigrees of justifications out the mouths of the all dried out, heartwood to pith, for why it is good to have caged babes in the hazy periphery. “There are not enough drops of rain to quench us all.” Coveting love as if it were limited. Read More


Are we as a country becoming more divided or more unified? When historical decisions are made and elections fall to one party or the other, there is an “in your face” celebration focused at those who lost. When was the last time there was an election for president that was separated by more than a few percentage points in the popular vote? When was the last time there was a unanimous Supreme Court decision on any major decision? It’s usually 5-4, or 6-3 at best. That tells me there are a lot of people who will be hurt, lost, disappointed, and even confused as to what the future holds for them and their beliefs. Where is the leader who has seen his/her cause win, and then truly demonstrated a humility that there are a lot of people who are not celebrating?


John Pickard, Lakewood

This letter was published in the July 5, 2015 edition of The Denver Post

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E Minor

Balls deep in the disarranged bacchanal of domesticity with a strong urge to pick up the old nylon-string, tune it down and everything/one else out, and play Domeniconi, improvising when it gets too technical. Read More

Poetry Prompt: Getting Personal 

Painting by Astrid Bruning

My prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is up and it’s about writing a “personal ad” to collect your soul.

“Write a poem that only your intended audience will get. Show them who you are, not who you want the world to see. When I think of sample poems, Walt Whitman’s ‘Song of Myself’ immediately comes to mind as he declares to the world in (at the time) scandalous free verse the celebration of love for both nature and humanity and how they carnally and spiritually intertwine within him.”

To see the full prompt, visit dVerse, and feel free to join in the engagement. Prompt closes this Thursday, June 7 at 1pm Rocky Mountain Time.

You can also see my example, New Refrain.

New Refrain

Painting by Megan Triantafillou

Mass with mastitis
mother by marriage says we’ll go to see Mother Mary but I know you know better
drinking in the sacrament of breath…

…Symposium of spirits concentrate there,
a kiss to sustain the learning world when by day and night
it hardens,
angels martyred
only to meet the gathered light and song and with new refrain go right back IN
TO bodies as
shining epistles altering helices and species Read More