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
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.
NORTH UMPQUA, SUMMER RUN
Wading thigh-deep, I cast a fly which I tied last winter, and let it drift below the riffle.
There, a steelhead lies, weighing the current, balancing in one place, the mouth slowly working open and closed.
While eyes that have never known sleep signal the body to rise, slide steadily forward, shadow flickering over mossy stones.
In a smooth flash of motion, deft as a blade, the fish strikes and the surface explodes.
Trembling violently in air, amid spray and foam, the steelhead blazes like a mirror catching sun, falls back, extinguishing the fire, only to lift again, a flame out of water.
In a long meteoric arc, cutting a vee across the surface, the fish unable to dislodge the hook, dashes instinctively down stream.
Zigzagging back and forth, fight the current and line, it is only a matter of time, until this miracle of energy rests on its side, gills flaring.
She's fat with roe, so I work the barb out and let her go on her journey from which there is no escape.
"North Umpqua, Summer Run" was published by Gin Bender Poetry Review and later appeared in Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon, Ooligan Press, Portland State University
Through a windswept field, champagne powder blows. I walk on sculptured dunes toward the vacant road and pause to pick up a maple seed still attached to its wing.
There are no maples for miles. Maybe it was dropped by a sparrow flying home.
Using the heel of my boot as a hoe, I scrape away a crust of ice and plant this seed under a thin layer of soil, so that come spring a tree might break from the ground . . .
rising into the air out of which it fell, and on another night such as this will hold the moonlight in the snow on its branches.
"Freezine Moon" was published by Widner Review. and later appeared in Deer Drink the Moon: Poems of Oregon, Ooligan Press, Portland State University