A “Home Water” Poem

A few days ago, I fished my home water, the North Fork of the Blackfoot, in Montana. Afterwards, I stopped by the closest fly shop, The Blackfoot Angler, in the tiny town of Ovando. As I entered the shop, a book of poetry happened to catch my eye. I flipped through it and noticed a poem about the North Fork. The book is titled The Wind Blows White (Conflux Press, 2014), and it is written by Eldon Wren Beck. a well-known landscape architect.  Beck has a daughter living in the Blackfoot River Drainage, and this area inspired some of his writings. Beck’s poem follows.

The North Fork, looking south, into a flat.

The North Fork, looking south, into a flat.

Near the North Fork of the Blackfoot


My sack of memories spill open

as drops of a long life

trickle through sun-lit dust

of another day.

In the verdant meadow

a rutted lane passes

by a staggered fence

amidst fields and forest.


Here, a lonely cabin

with roof askew and porch derelict,

random boards nailed

over sightless windows.

No longer tales to tell in rooms within.


Mouldering stumps hunker in the grass.

Once-proud pines lay in decay.


I bow to youthful vigor, squint

into the warm evening

where Grandpa chuckled

at his own jokes

and cows now rub against the fence

under the Ponderosa

where seedlings waltz.

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