PAUL HOMER … I know it got overshadowed by Phish, but Dr. David Homer’s attorney dad gave a lovely reading of his memoirs at the Wilkinson Library this past Tuesday evening … Isn’t Scott Doser amazing – all the terrific programs he makes available free at our award-winning library in Telluride?
BEAVER FIRE THANKS … I called out the BLM and Sheriff Bill Masters two months ago, but there were a host of others deserving of gratitude for making the Beaver Fire a textbook case of interagency cooperation and community spirit (as my friend John Mansfield reminded me) – after all, it was the Forest Service’s fire pretty quickly after the great initial response by Bill Masters’ crews, BLM and our local Volunteer Fire Departments (particularly Norwood VFD, as well as Placerville and Telluride VFDs) … The community (school, churches, individuals) pitched in with meals that first night of the fire and found a place to put up a fire encampment, and the Feds (and State Forest Service) involved gave a great briefing Saturday night of the fire in Norwood at the Community Center to let folks know what was happening and to take input … All around, a very successful response to a local disaster. It makes me proud to live in a community like Norwood that can pull together so well in an emergency.
POET LAUREATE … David Mason, a fine poet and professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, was given the state’s highest ranking poetry nod by Gov. Ritter, after he procrastinated and left the honorary literary office unappointed for most of his administration … This follows on the heels of Mary Crow of Colorado State University in Fort Collins holding down the title for two terms (the second term by default). Both Front Range academic poets. Good solid poets … Personally, I was hoping they’d step out of the stereotypes and name Aaron Abeyta of the San Luis Valley as poet laureate. I even lobbied for that before Ritter got elected. But us West Slope liberals didn’t have much cachet with the Denver high-rise crowd … Aaron’s not only a fine award-winning poet, but his ancestry in Antonito would have been a lovely cultural validation of the state’s deeply-rooted Hispanic heritage … I guess that’s what I like least about being in politics – it’s watching opportunities being missed.
THE SUNSHINE EXPRESS … Norwood has had some interesting newspapers over the years. My favorite was Rural Rube, that published for some six months or so back at the turn of the previous century ... The Sunshine Express is the latest newcomer on the Wrights Mesa print block, having appeared with its inaugural issue this month. Touting “good news” and its intent on “uplifting the Western Slope,” it will be interesting to see what turns its subsequent issues take. Good luck to anyone buying ink by the barrel these days (or paper by the ream).
THE TALKING GOURD
His offspring don’t like freezing
Or prolonged thirst but they love
New Mexican sun & Colorado water.
Still it takes a steward sage dakini
To read a garden’s palm & know
What local conditions might override.
To touch the grooves of his star green skin
& experience the thorny zen slaps of the Tao
Alive as field testing or affordances.
Nature letting us in on the opportunity
To co-create a cactus in our own image:
Fat & flexed or hexed & pencil-thin.
To ingest & learn the spirit of plant mind
Nurturing the bodies of the succulents
That are our own sweet barbs & spines.