Sunday, July 31, 2011

2 poems: Local culture/Meanwhile

Local culture

What price come the symbols
  in a back-country cowboy town
    evolved to modern artsi-fartsy tourist trap
The rodeo is come to town
  complete with local and traveling cowgirls,
    rodeo-cowboys and predators of all kinds.
Descendants of former inhabitants,
  invited if they wear their feathers, bring ponies,
    look like expected indigenes.
Yet the muttering on the street
   and in city hall is all about "those indians"
      selling salmon on the street, drinking in the bars.
Ahh well... it's about the money
   leave the money... and leave . . . soon.
     It will be all over but the counting.
         Ralph Anderson, Entry # 17


A valley full of ecotourists explore,
  lured by the chance to see or hear
    some or one of the states' 17 wolves...
Settle for seminar sessions with old skulls.
  a few local and regional "wolf experts"
     and rehashing the socio-political battles.
 Many locals lie low or retreat,
  for the high country and back corners
    are rich in this season with views and resources.
First berries report from the banks
  of the Wallowa and canyon walls
     saskatoons ripen and feed birds, bears and people.
And hunters sharpen their arrows
  for bear season starts this week
    and stalkers will again scour the canyons.
Shorebirds are migrating, swifts still feed young,
  there are dependent hawks and owls everywhere,
    and hummingbirds cluster at feeders.

       Ralph Anderson, Entry # 18