In the first light of day we head from the city
into the greening forest filled with bird voices.

We reached the bottom of the first hill when
we stopped in our tracks – remains of a deer.


For the 3rd time in the last three years, we have found the reamins of deer while out hiking. The frist two were in northern Minnesoata, when we came about multiple parts. This time it was within a park in our backyard. After some time spent hiking through the rest of the trees looking for anything else and listening to the ravens converging on our location, I feel this has now become part of my path – to put to rest creatures that have fallen, that we have lost with no respect and with no dignity.

Here is the poem I wrote after the second discovery and the first time we returned the bones back to earth and the sky. Back to the trees to be cradled and carried to the next world.  I now believe clouds are the fallen being carried with gentle hands to where they may now rest.


We found remains
not of the day or night
not of the moon or sun
but of something more
primal and of the earth
and soil carrying its voice
from pastures to fields
to the winter beds.

The remains we found of
creatures roaming
the open space
the land born of themselves.

Searching snow covered grounds
a rake is used like a ship
dredging a canal, but
at the surface, gentle
tugs, attention paid to
the amount of resistance,
the emitted sound when metal
hits a rock, dried wood,
or what I am looking for.

When a brownish blur
catches my eye through cattails
I know I am done.
It’s time to return
you to earth.

2x4s laid in the snow
covered dirt road, away
from low hanging pine limbs
and prairie grasses.

I place your rib cage upon
the altar, sprinkle gasoline
and say a few words
before throwing the match.

The poem “From the Marathon” from the reading on 05/04/14.

This piece is part of a larger work titled “Marathon Through Open Fields”.


I awoke running through snowy fields,
the bison lumbering with frozen noses and hanging breath
the autumn wheat dusted with snow,
weighed down from ice pellets
they do not budge when I run past.

The marathon continues
down a path I do not know
I have never been here before.

My legs burn. I stop for a moment
near the river’s edge with ice along
the bank, reeds are frozen in time.

Even a breeze upon my chilled face,
does not move them. Near the horizon
over the willow trees reach, ravens
are suspended in mid-flight.

Not a whisper.

The poem “One Truth” from the reading on 05/04/14.


The rain filled dharma is still dharma.

Rain falls in fields of white snow.
If the snow is one truth,
what happens when the snow melts
what happens to the truth?

It becomes the earth.

No matter the state of being
the state of mind the dharma
exists across the empty field.

Clouds touch the moon.
I cover the moon with my thumb.

Light rains upon the
fields I walk across.

The poem “What We Must Do” from the reading on 05/04/14.


We found remains
not of the day or night
not of the moon or sun
but of something more
primal and of the earth
and soil carrying its voice
from pastures to fields
to the winter beds.

The remains we found of
creatures roaming
the open space
the land born of themselves.

Searching snow covered grounds
a rake is used like a ship
dredging a canal, but
at the surface, gentle
tugs, attention paid to
the amount of resistance,
the emitted sound when metal
hits a rock, dried wood,
or what I am looking for.

When a brownish blur
catches my eye through cattails
I know I am done.
It’s time to return
you to earth.

2x4s laid in the snow
covered dirt road, away
from low hanging pine limbs
and prairie grasses.

I place your rib cage upon
the altar, sprinkle gasoline
and say a few words
before throwing the match.

Alan Kleiman was kind enough to share this poem here.


OF DOG CABLES AND BEAUTY

Your pretty face always says to me
Welcome
Look this way with enthusiasm
For you will find symmetries to please your soul when your eyes catch my cheek
The line near my forehead the angle of my nose hint life is beautiful morning is sober

You won’t find solace in every glance
But consolation
An anchor to ground the day from strays
I see that cable we screw in tight
Into the land
Going round and round deeper with each turn
Until somehow it’s too deep, stuck now big pup can’t pull it out now
his play becomes the loop
The length of wire holding him to ground
Keeping him close
Keeping him ours.

Ode on Solitude
BY ALEXANDER POPE

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

The dream came furious
and ended quickly.

Remembered in fragments
driven to the edge by fractures.

I picked up the pieces
scattered across the field.

I chased the raven
and the wolf

carrying those I cherished
most, memories of who I

thought I was.

Raven and Wolf
From http://wolfandravens.blogspot.com

I first learned of John Haines while taking a class at the Loft Literary Center a few years ago.  From the first poem I was hooked.  I have every book of his, some first editions, and one signed that I was fortunate to find.

Mr. Haines also wrote many essays about nature, the world at large, and his view from a small rustic cabin located outside of Fairbanks, AK.

Mr. Haines was born on June 29, 1924 and passed away on March 2, 2011. I sadly never got the chance to meet him in person, but continue to read his books and write pieces about him and be inspired by the raw, simple, and powerful pieces he created.

I am particularly fond of “Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer” for poetry and “Fables and Distances” for his essays.

Below are his most easily found books on Amazon.

Cover Title Publisher
51JKNEG1A6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-Five Years in the Alaska Wilderness Graywolf Press (March 1, 2000)
41HH5DF4X9L._SY300_ Living Off the Country: Essays on Poetry and Place (Poets on Poetry) University of Michigan Press (January 1, 1982)
519H1KF17PL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems Graywolf Press; 1st edition (September 1, 1993)
51VY8F0C6ZL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ For the Century’s End: Poems 1990-1999 (Pacific Northwest Poetry) University of Washington Press (January 1, 2001)
41IYJ6ABaDL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ At the End of this Summer: Poems, 1948-1954 Copper Canyon Press (September 1, 1997)
41TJ0EFWEQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Fables and Distances: New and Selected Essays Graywolf Press (January 1, 1996)
51DeUhh44TL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ News from the Glacier: Selected Poems, 1960-1980 Wesleyan (April 1, 1982)
51IZ0uavIYL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ The Stone Harp (Wesleyan Poetry Program) Wesleyan (July 1, 1971)

New content has been added to the Stone Path Review Website.

SPR-01

Ode to Death, by Hanakia Zedek


I awaken in it’s arms
Yet it has done me no harm
It’s eyes cold and fallow
As I have come to know

Why do you come to me?
Why do you comfort me…
Yet never come for me?
What do you see in me?
Am I to continue your legacy?
How many have I crossed over to thee…
Peacefully?
I am foolishly charmed by Your Majesty
Beguiled by Your Grace
How many times have I met you face to face…
And you look right through me?
But isn’t that the key…
To have Nothing for thee?…
To release?
Maybe that is why you like me
I put no demands on thee
For with me….you are free