UP BEAR CREEK | Taking a Winter Poetry Jaunt
by Art Goodtimes
Feb 18, 2013 | 1548 views | 1 1 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print

ON TOUR … In rural communities, we all wear lots of hats. One of my many, in addition to public servant (or politician, if you don’t particularly like my service), potato farmer and basketweaver, is as Poet Laureate of the Western Slope (a title that I will relinquish at the end of March when a new Laureate is named at the Karen Chamberlain Poetry Festival in Carbondale). This last weekend I got to wear the poet beret a lot, with a Green nod to my role as rural elected official … Thanks to my lax attention to many things in the wake of Mary’s leaving, I double-booked a student lecture in Boulder last Thursday in the afternoon, together with a poetry reading later that night in Colorado Springs with Wendy Videlock of Grand Junction. Which meant the Wends and I had just enough time to make it to the venue, while negotiating rush hour traffic on I-25 – always dicey … It all worked out. We got to Boulder’s Center of the American West in time to lecture in Dr. Patricia Limerick’s history class on New West/Old West settler conflicts (cell tower, gun control, uranium mill) … Then we rushed to the Springs, making it just in time for a well-attended, paid Visiting Writers gig at Colorado College’s Palmer Hall. The most gracious Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason invited Wendy and I, and he hosted us for a lovely after-the-show dinner at Jake and Telly’s Greek Taverna. The Numæan wine was superb, and the table talk exquisite … Friday morning we spoke at Dr. Genevieve Love’s Colorado College poetry class … Although not before we’d made an en route impulse stop at Montague’s Parlour on Tejon St. (easily one of the best coffeehouses in the state). A coffee break that stretched into deeply absorbed thoughts, and we were promptly late for class … Love had done amazing prep. The kids had read selections of our work and written up questions. It was great fun sharing our thoughts, the two of us, Wendy sitting in a chair, speaking softly like the Sibyl of Cumae, and old Paleohippie pacing and pontificated like a mad beatnik bard … Wends and I next repaired to Wooglin’s Deli for an outdoor madcap chat & chew with Dave and his new wife, the amazing Cally Conan-Davies – a wildly wonderful Aussie poet herself … They both will be appearing this Friday, Feb. 15th at 7 p.m. at the Cortez Public Library – a reading I’m planning on attending … And then the adventure took us to Salida, where Barbara Ford and Laurie James sponsored Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Danny Rosen, Wends and me as “Birds of a Feather” for a lovely performance that drew a good-sized crowd and lots of friends – a nod to the sorely missed Sparrows Poetry Festival of years past, a Salida institution now defunct … Former Denver Poet Laureate Chris Ransick attended, along with Denver’s Kit Hedman, Crestone’s Peter Anderson, former Tellurider Doann Houghton of Nathrop and the usual Salida crew of Craig Nielson, Lawson Eddy, Lynda La Rocca, Felice and some impressive new voices (an open reading preceded the show, and three special guests came after) … By the time Wendy and I made it back to Montrose, and headed in opposite directions, I was driving into a blizzard, Dallas Divide blowing horizontal, the tarmac snow-packed and dangerous.


MORE ON GUNS … It’s certainly been a lively time on Facebook talking about the gun control issue – something all of us are wrestling with, whatever side we come down on … We live in a heavily armed society. And yet in the rural areas, I don’t feel threatened by my neighbors’ guns. In fact, in a strange way, I feel protected … And yet we’ve had to experience many horrible massacre situations in the last few years that leave all of us, as a society, reeling. And recently in the West End there have been several individual shootings … So, it came as quite a surprise to learn of Thom Hartmann’s historical analysis of the Second Amendment from Truthout.Org in the course of my on-line discussions (thanks to my poet/musician friend Harold Carr of Utah)… Hartmann writes that the Second Amendment was proposed, amended and ratified with the express purpose of protecting the southern states’ right to have armed slave militias, to patrol against slave uprisings. That puts a very disturbing spin on the whole conversation for me. I recommend others find this essay. I think we need to add this to the mix of our thoughts on this contentious issue.


KENYA … Trout Lake homeowner Jo Norris of long-time Shroomfest and Arizona’s Rim Institute fame will be special guest facilitator for a learning journey with the Foundation for Global Leadership entitled “Hope for the Elephants,” Aug. 23-30, 2013 … The trip will feature visiting with traditional Masai people and witnessing elephants and their threatened habitat first-hand, along with the amazing wildebeest migration … At 80, Jo is an elder, wisdom keeper, leader of ceremony and an expert in facilitating groups to connect the depth of the journey experience to the deeper aspects of one’s soul. Jo has spent her life focused on healing the planet and humanity … For more info on this experiential adventure, contact Jo directly at




Mary’s Chapel Yurt


Clumped snow on canvas

makes a full luxurious slide

behind & above me


like a zipper’s sweet tug

resistance, sparking

fricatives of liquid ice


until teased over the

precipitous edge’s leap…

Slipped silk, cut short


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February 19, 2013
Beautiful homage to Mary, Art.