If you would like an autographed copy of The Peasant Dance please send me your mailing address. I will send you my mailing address, so you can send me a check for $19. The good news is I will pay for the postage.
Stronger Than the Current
This is the preliminary cover for Stronger Than the Current.
The book will be published by The Poetry Box and is scheduled
to be released in February 2021. The cover is painted by the author,
Every year, the mayor runs a contest
to see who can guess the annual rainfall.
After a few good storms, the Siuslaw rises
drowning Helen McCready's prize tulips.
The rowboat tied to her front porch
is again useful. She has no intention of moving.
Helen was born in this house, and so was her mother.
Her patience is stronger than the current.
From the back porch, she fishes for salmon.
Published in Elohi Gadugi
The Peasant Dance
A Brueghel Painting
You can not see me. I am standing behind the man who is painting a festival of villagers that have rigor mortis from lifting their feet in the same position and may stay rigid for hundreds of years.
Still wondering when they might stop dancing, the villagers look apprehensive
as a first kiss
the stable boy is trying to give his sweetheart. Everyone is tired of the repetitious
farmer playing a drunken bagpipe tune,
but are polite and do not show their disgust.
Two drinkers quarrel finding out they have slept with each other’s wife.
The first stretches both arms out asking forgiveness. The second raises one hand blessing him. For their sin, the wives have shrunken to the size of dwarfs. The women are smaller than the table. In an hour, they will completely disappear.
Published in CutBank.
The Peaseant Dance can be ordered at the following places
I troll along the south shore, where other fisherman say the angling is no good: too shallow, too many weeds. With their fish finders, they cluster off Princess Creek, but I don't see them catching anything.
The lake lies flat mirroring sky. An osprey rides the currents, until he spies a trout, folds his wings and drops like a swift mountain stream falling over the edge of a cliff, plunging talons first into his own reflection . . .
Emerging in a fury of spray, wings widespread, using them as oars, the bird strokes against the surface, flapping steadily to reach the air again, nosing his wriggling prey into the wind.
I point the bow at the spot where the osprey caught the rainbow. More times than not, that is the place my pole starts to bend.
"Catching the Limit" first appeared in Calusa Review, republished in From Here We Speak: Oregon Anthology and Your Daily Poem. com.
With Covid - 19, poetry readings are on hold.
Hopefully, there will be readings at local bookstores in 2021.
Mark Thalman reading at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, Steeped in Words Poetry Series, Portland, Oregon. Photo by Katheryn Babcock.