Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations


Cover Art: Russell Chatham "Hayfields on the Cottonwood Bench," 2004. Oil, 36" x 48".
Copper Canyon Press

My spirit is starving.
How can it be fed?
Not by pain in the predictable future
nor the pain in the past
but understanding the invisible flower
within the flower that tells it what is,
the soul of the tree that does the same.
I don't seem to have a true character
to discover, a man slumped on his desk
dozing at midmorning. I'm an old poet.
That's it. Period. A three-legged goat
in mountain country. It's easier in the woods
where you have trees to lean on. There at times
I smelled bears right behind the cabin
coming to eat sunflower seeds put out for birds.
This dawn it's primroses, penstemon,
the trellis of white roses. On Easter
Jesus is Jesus. When did God enter him or us?

The Write Question blog
The Write Question on Facebook
The Write Question on Twitter
The Write Question podcast

Jim Harrison, one of America's most versatile and celebrated writers, is the author of over thirty books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction--including Legends of the Fall, the acclaimed trilogy of novellas, and The Shape of the Journey: New and Collected Poems. His books have been translated into two dozen languages, and in 2007 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. With a fondness for open space and anonymous thickets, he divides his time between Montana and southern Arizona.

Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content
  • The women of the interior prepare themselves for pain by igniting small piles of fir needles on their wrists. I, too, want to age in the mountains, though…
  • 1.Logic of properties,hieroglyphics of logicalsituations are, of necessitytrue, although independentof falsehood or truth.Thus, in speaking the truth,"A…
  • The other one has tried to reach itacross the ocean of the shoulder,tried to stop it from hitting, from sendinga man to death with a scribbled word.The…
  • I always forget the name,delphinium,even though it was the flowerthe hummingbirdsloved best. They came in pairs—sleek,emerald-brightheads, the clockwork…