Poetry from Catching the Limit
Moving into Night
After dinner dishes have been washed and put away,
I walk down to the dock.
Clouds hover against snow-capped peaks.
The sun, already below the horizon, turns glaciers pink.
Shadows stretch across the hills
like blankets being drawn up for the night.
Along the distant shore,
one last fisherman trolls for kokanee . . .
Below my feet, trout meander between pilings--
glide over dappled stones.
The moon rises. On the water,
it is shattered by each wave.
With cupped hands, I scoop up a brilliant shard
and wash my face with wet light.
Soon, the wind dies, and the moon is again whole.
Pale stars, floating lanterns, dot the lake.
I untie my boat, shove off,
and lifting the oars, row across the heavens.
Published in Poetpourri
“In twelve lines of beautifully weighted imagery, “Inheritance” offers an understated,
moving portrait of the speaker’s grandfather—a portrait conveyed through old work
gloves as rigid and expressive as sculpture. The poem’s last gesture is a fine,
subtle evocation of the connection between this grandchild and grandfather.”
Poet Laureate of Oregon Emerita
In Grandfather's shop, I search for a pair of gloves,
but none seem to match. Either the right or left
has been lost in an act of forgetfulness.
I find a few that could be sculptures Rodin would have admired:
a hand gripping an invisible hammer, another resting as in a lap,
one pointing like it knew the correct direction.
His daily sweat soaked into the leather
making the palms shiny as calluses, fingers ridged
until stretched like skin, worn again.
I try them on and my fingerprints embed
on top of his. My hands ready to rake twigs and cones
blown down around the cabin all winter.
Published in Marylhurst Review
Republished in Your Daily Poem.com
Highway to the Coast
Thick and green, the hills rise
on each other's shoulders.
High ridges disappear in fog
make me wish I was born of water.
At the divide, I taste the cool ocean air,
the way a deer finds a salt lick,
and roller coaster down a narrow road
that does not believe in a straight line.
crawl through barbed wire fences.
Small towns occur like a whim.
As if in a coma, they merely survive.
I tune in the only station
and listen to country western.
Static gradually drowns the singer out.
Rounding a corner, he pops to the surface
for another breath,
simply to sink back still singing.
Fir shadows lace the road.
Bracken cascades embankments.
At the next curve, a farmhouse is half finished--
boards weathered raw. Chickens roost in a gutted Chevy.
Scattered among these hills, families
rely on small private lumber mills,
the disability or unemployment check,
the killing of an out of season elk.
"Highway to the Coast" first appeared in Caffeine Destiny,
republished by Deer Drink the Moon by Ooligan Press -
Portland State University Press, davejarecki.com, and Your Daily Poem.com
|Born in Oregon
Some days I am a fir. Squirrels eat from my limbs.
Other days I am a rhododendron. My genes are coded
as cuneiform. Toadstools and moss grow in the caverns
of my lungs. I am accustomed to the sky,
gray as wax paper.
"Born in Oregon" was originally published in Poetry Now,
appeared in Starting with Little Things , Oregon Arts Foundation
and anthologized in Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon,
Ooligan Press, Portland State University.
"Some poets explore environment to better expose an internal landscape.
Thalman is such a poet, exposing Oregon and our heritage."
Poetry Editor, The Oregonian
Thalman writes about Oregon's Coast, the Willamette Valley, and the Cascades,
painting word pictures of the region's rugged beauty and the people who shape it
and are shaped by it.
Debby De Carlo - The Forest Grove News Times