Tundra Prom

boutonnières and corsages shipped four hundred miles at considerable expense tuxedos sized and rented, deposits paid hand delivered on the evening jet a month’s salary from evenings after school at the grocery store gone in a single night “a night to remember” or whatever the canned theme on frosted flutes so much pomp when circumstances couldn’t be formal high heals sticking in the mud rubber boots and raincoats for our photos at the dance the three of us posed like Hollywood action stars guns and a samurai sword kids dressed up like rich adults pretending to be something we would never know

They Say...

They say... men need women know boys think girls learn babies understand cats fear dogs like they say they say they say say, who are they? why do we always believe what they say?

Before the Avalanche

[Photo by my good friend, Joe Yelverton —his harrowing experience is the inspiration for today’s poem. Check out his amazing writing and photography on his website . ] Before the Avalanche before hell cracked loose far above and darkened our world an apology, a revelation the rising mountain between us, fell away before the white wall of snow barreled toward us we shared a moment that would keep me alive long after we were first swallowed, then beaten buried long after I washed out below, broken, battered bruised long after you appeared, disappeared again and again long after we fell, and the first night fell, haunting and each thereafter what came before the avalanche t

Old Wounds and Flaws

my eyes don’t see the world the same they are dirty brown I see that I know that my hair, too brown, but the eyes in certain shades see other colors the wrong colors some might say then the scars a thin white line on the left palm running midway from ring finger to the center on the wrist, broken twice another scar, red and thick on the knee joint, not a slice from barbed wire and football, but a box knife in a grocery store broken this and that tailbone ribs funny bone old wounds and flaws on the surface all stories inside something else a mystery, even to me


SEER seeking the future a crystal ball in your palm the world upside down

The Rising Leaves 🍁

crinkling and cackling as they swirl zombie leaves take form rise from the dead and dirt raging against life lifting into the sky once more towards trees that once held them loved them, discarded them with winter and so much spring sun budding anew break the bows tears the trunks uproot the unkind

Unbecoming Man

Unbecoming Man the trees tremble wind the robin sings warning the hare freezes fear the bear stands dominance we become stone diminutive

Earth Day

one is not enough for this planet we call home we can do better

Ghost Ride

ghost ride after the first scratches, dings dirt and rust when you can pedal hard, and at the last moment jump free kick your feet and let go into the lake off a bluff, over a riverbank down your street understand this: some day your bike will keep rolling [poem #21 for 2018 National Poetry Month By Don Rearden]


Tiring don’t tread on me tired worn thin blown out punctured and out of balance tired slick, slow leak low pressure I am rubber on this road tired overinflated, misaligned cracked, flat slashed, burned I’m tired

Monster Mine

[Iliamna Lake Monster art by my sister Beth Hill] Monster Mine at the mining protest, the boy who protests everything from bedtime to breakfast points to a problem the parents and other people have missed the adults concern themselves with pollution and wild salmon habitat loss and toxins his concern runs deeper into the mystery, and what we’re willing to risk slips deep into the heart of the lake the mine can’t go in he protests, it will kill the lake monster!


you, Sir, have destroyed both the office and the word the origin is Latin, not that you care, or if someone told you, I’m sure you’d talk about your wall, rapists and drug dealers origins have no bearing on a compass with no needle praesident meant: sitting before as in, your job was to sit at the head of our country’s table say grace, be graceful act with dignity, not Hannity definitions of this word include terms antithetical to your very being: dignified, stately composure that befits a president it is no wonder, presidential will join the obsolete term: presiding, watching over as this comfort is also gone inside the very word presidential: present preside, reside you se

Dog People 🐕

[Dolce our mini-Aussie, snowdog, not show dog!] Dog People we spent millennia taming wolves selecting for gentle demeanors soft features and loyalty now? a dog for everything show dogs, sled dogs guard dogs, guide dogs hot dogs, stray dogs corn dogs, Shar Pei dogs dog eared, dog leg dog eat dog, doggie bag sun dog, lost dog big dog, bird dog fire dog, boon dog sick as a dog, coon dog dog gone, dog song dog day, dog play bad dog, mad dog doggie smile, dog pile dog this, dog that all but a dog cat

Shards and Chandeliers

Shards and Chandeliers we amble down the dirt road in the morning sun, her little feet stomp on the thin ice covering clear puddles, the crystal coatings shards and chandeliers spray from beneath her tiny soles, she shrieks with what life fills my existence in a way I didn’t know possible and I become a puddle at the thought of her world ever shattering without me there at her side

Used Bike

his first mountain bike gently used, but still awesome can we go ride, Dad?

On This Day In History

April 14  Lincoln takes a bullet the same day the Titanic hits the iceberg Webster’s dictionary a day before Samuel Johnson published his and Wild Bill became sheriff the day before Ray Kroc started McDonalds Davinci gave his first cry and after Tiger won his first Masters and Thomas Jefferson was born the bullet and the iceberg each struck the same day death followed a day later everything we think we know happened everything we know happened we think

Arctic War(n/m)ing

[Portage Glacier —April 2018] Arctic War(n/m)ing melting permafrost sinkholes open to reveal the past as future

Listen & Learn

[Saoirse, my fearless and brilliant little one, always teaching me.] Listen and Learn I swung her around to my back clasp my hands together beneath her little bottom squatted, grabbed the dog leash turned toward home her little cartoon chatter skipped from colors and mountains I like to ride piggy back and trees, rocks, funny puppy big truck, listen to the water where is momma? and next time I’ll travel with her on the airplane —somewhere between it all — she said: I see a big fat moose my mind scrolled back through her rambling and struck on: Big Fat. I didn’t like her saying that. Wondered where she heard such an insensitive phrase I was ready for the talk with her brother “Where

psychopomp (psuchopompos)

for five days a gray wolf slept curled at her grave the guide of her soul or a secret friend met berry picking the people mourned her sometimes imagined soft sounds of the child they tucked in her parka on the sixth day a round depression in the snow wolf and woman tracks leading away (Poem #11—for National Poetry Month—-this one based on a traditional Yup’ik story—the scary thing is that she returns!)

This Crystal Ball

exactly how a crystal ball reveals the future eludes me the present is inverted through a glass sphere there are theories of other worlds planes and dimensions  the theory of mind so many theories perhaps seeing myself in a mirror upside down will reveal as much about the future as my little brain can handle [April is National Poetry Month, this is poem #10– an excuse to share poetry worldwide.]

Copyright Don Rearden...All rights reserved.  Whatever that means. 

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