Salt Creek Falls, Oregon (June 19, 2009)

by Bruce Lader

Salt Creek Falls, Oregon
(June 19, 2009)

The river’s jaw drops open here,
plunges its swollen 300-foot
tongue to smithereens of thunderous

echo, deluge exploding
deep into dark-brown granite
mottled with phosphorescent moss.

Rain sprinkles my face;
white fins of ghost clouds
slowly glide canyon rims, hover

moist veils over the mountain shaft,
must be angels, their laughter
silencing the clock,

bringing wind that refreshes,
quenches disquiet
and says Listen to the songs of trout,

long as fir tree roots, see wider than
the rainbow in mist dispelling
dust of doubt, breathe deep as bear.

I have lost my omnivorous tooth
of desire in a sunbeam peering
through the blue eye between clouds

where a black swift
fledged high beyond the cliff,
swerves, rises to embrace the sky.

The Cape Rock (2011)

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Bruce Lader is the former director of Bridges Tutoring, an organization educating multicultural students. Currently he brings writers' groups together in the Raleigh area, gives readings in the NC Triad and appears widely on YouTube, local TV, radio, podcasts and international magazine sites. Poetry Foundation, Poets & Writers, New York Quarterly, and many other literary resources archive his work. Lader’s poetry is characterized by a humanistic world vision, psychological insight, ironic humor, and speculative imagination. His themes are the need for freedom, love, and social justice. Describing Landscapes of Longing, Kathryn Stripling Byer commented: “…a powerful, unsparing, and yet tender book about the realities of self and culture that have assailed us since the beginning of human time.” Kelly Cherry wrote of Fugitive Hope: ... " [the book] deepens, broadens, and sweetens, as a pastoral symphony might…. an astonishing journey, beautiful and hopeful.” Discovering Mortality was a finalist for the 2006 Brockman-Campbell Book Award. In addition to winning the 2010 Left Coast Eisteddfod Poetry Competition, he has received a writer’s residency from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation and numerous honoraria.

Last updated September 16, 2011