tagNon-Erotic PoetryAn Ode to Oregon

An Ode to Oregon


dedicated to Sen. Ron Wyden

In truth I've always loved you
even when as a youth,
with wanderlust badly bit
I didn't realize it

I can't say that you're immune
to the the horrid afflictions
which these days trouble our nation;
It's far easier to buy a gun
than to find a good job
and many of our best citizenry
live under lock and key in Pendleton

But I learned to walk
on the lonely sands of your windblown beaches,
to talk from the fierce-throated coyotes
that fill your vast woodlands,
and contemplated virtue and sin,
Shakespeare, Nietzche, and Plato
on walks up a red-sand mountain
by my home in Klamath County

And who could fail to see the beauty
of your East's rugged but thriving potato farms
(wordlessly boasting of
their worker's ingenuity and industry,)
of your lush rolling hills
spotted with meandering cattle,
or of Tulelake's free wild-life refuge
where myriad flocks of fowl
dice the air like a huge knife
in wondrous ESP synchronicity?

Then there's my Southern Oregon University,
located in posh and out there Ashland
(home of America's best Shakespeare theatre)
past which on the first day Baghdad's bombing
we, without having to quiver in fear,
sang and protested
the whole of downtown thronging

Yes, from booming Bend
to the pristine Steens Mountains
to road-side villages which to be towns pretend
and so many other remarkable sights
of which I could write virtually without end,
this is still the place to come
just as it was in the days of the trail,
free land, log cabins, and untaxed rum

Where on Earth is their such wild abundance
coupled with such relatively mild seasons?
I don't deny that in certain regions
the snowy winter-wind can howl like demons,
but this is the price residents pay
for serene solitude and amazing springs

In the north, it can rain all day
but the forests are always flourishing and green
in a way I've simply never seen;
And here you'll find earthy Eugene
where the sun of our civilization's renaiisance
is always dawning though the sky is gray

Further on, there's the great metropolis
everyone calls Portland:
it's very liberal for American cities
and from the mini-marts to the universities,
there are many, many ethnicities;
everywhere shiny Audi cars and light trains hiss
and in the strip-bars downtown
a moneyed rambler can find martini bliss

Perhaps I brag,
Yes I know,
making every street-light
as the very moon glow,
and our government as progressive
as Trajan's pacific Rome:
but I owe it to this special place
!!!which has always been my home!!!

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