Maple leaves on the ground with late afternoon sun

Eight Poems from Dryside Verses: Four Seasons on Goodlow Rim by John Daniel

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The maple is shedding—
            I lug in firewood, crushing
                        summer with each step.

 

 

                                                                                 No visitors this month.
                                                                                              Me alone
                                                                                                           for distraction.

 

 

                                    To hike sidehill
                                                this slope studded with rocks
                                                            is an awkward honor.

 

 

            Ah, trapped spider,
                        evolution
                                    didn’t plan on sinks.

 

 

                                                                       Sleek does drink
                                                                                     and nuzzle at the pond.
                                                                                                   On my desk, a gray hair.

 

 

Moonrise over Goodlow
            sends juniper shadows far
                          downhill on frosted grass.

 

 

                                                            The pond skinned with creased
                                                                         ice this morning—a spider
                                                                                           begins an expedition.

 

 

                                    In the blue distances
                                                  of snowy land this evening,
                                                                spirit sings its silence.

 

 

 

John DanielJohn Daniel’s most recent books are Gifted, a novel, and Of Earth: New and Selected Poems. These poems are from a collection in progress, Dryside Verses: Four Seasons on Goodlow Rim, written during a sojourn in the semiarid steppeland of south-central Oregon. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford, Daniel has written ten books of essays, memoir, poetry, and fiction. He lives in the Coast Range foothills west of Eugene, Oregon.

Read two poems by John Daniel and an excerpt of his novel Gifted previously appearing in Terrain.org .

Photo by S. Borisov, courtesy Shutterstock.

Terrain.org is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.