Hard grey sky and north wind blowing. Spring wants to jump back to winter but the herring won't let it happen.  The fleet fished again today and there was some spawning out on the islands.  I haven't seen any branches come in yet but hoping they will soon. Whatever the temperature spring is here.  

Another month and another poem for the group.  Jan is headed to her doctor in Seattle. Her medication is losing its effectiveness and we don't know what the sawbones can pull out of his hat this time.  She is a beautiful soul and does not fret or worry but I am a big baby.  We used to travel through the country near the big mudslide in Washington State.  I can't imagine that kind of suffering.  I think of all the families and rescue workers down there and wish there was enough love to keep them safe from cruel and arbitrary bad news, but of course there isn't.  There is only enough love to dress the pain once it comes.  



Down the road, curtains billow out

open windows, and the boys delivering eggs

have the collars of their coats turned up

waiting for tiny b.b.s to begin falling. 


I was sworn to protect her, for the rest of my life,

but this was a new kind of precipitation

we could not have expected:

nuts and bolts clattering and cracking the window casings,

yolks running yellow in the road where the boys have dropped

their cartons and run home, and the dented mailboxes are falling



I cradle her in my arms and try to explain things

as hammers fall from the sky

whirling like scythes tearing the limbs from the trees,

and the eaves of the houses begin to shred away

 as the woodsheds become dented then tumble in,

dogs begin shrieking, scrambling under houses and digging

their way under stumps where desiccated

raccoons had gone to die.


Finally the anvils begin to fall,

as I’ve only imagined

they would someday.

The whomp,


of their foot fall as the first few hit the ground scattering gravel

from the cratered ground

and the next go through the roofs

of the houses down the road, then all around

us, as we hold on to each other tighter 

and tighter, not knowing what

could be coming


or more accurately


not wanting to know.

                                             John Straley/ Sitka