I encourage my Environment and Literature students to dwell in the process of making their own poems. It is an existential act, like planting a tree. I tell students that I can learn to dwell in language and on the earth through an engaged reading of another writer’s creation just like I can enjoy the presence of a tree I did not plant. There is something existentially rewarding, though, about picking up my own shovel, getting my hands dirty, and seeing a tree in the earth for the first time, to echo Merwin.

To echo ecopoets, writing a poem is a process of echolocation, of finding one’s (dis)orientation on the earth. Good or bad, part of the work of poetry is this act of dwelling in language and on the earth. I have undergone the process for nearly two decades–the aim not necessarily publication, but rather to undergo the practice, the discipline, of dwelling.

The following links lead to pdfs of a handful of poems (I got weary trying to preserve the look of the poems in WordPress’s interface).

Till Everything Is Rainbow

To Emily

Turning One

The Old Ponderosa Pines

On the Volta

Fire of a Phoenix

The Problem with the Word Environment

Late Spring on the Palouse

First Light


(for Bridget)

i thought of you when

Mangoes in Russia


November Wetland



Thirteen Ways of Looking at Tea Time




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