Tag Archives: Danger


No one will be surprised by the report
that farming is a very dangerous sport

What flapping empty fingered gloves
point back to momentary lapses

What limbs with what power
have been taken off by
power take offs

What tendons snapped like glass
and bones cut clean as grass
by unthinking mowers

And what of those neighbours dead and true
who for a minute forgetting what they knew
through red machines combined
with their grain

All these have earned his dusty tear
and many a “who’s next” fear

Year after year, after year, after year

And yet deep in the soils of time
the seeds of his goodness are growing
while the world turns in slow seasons
and he will be ready
when at last they declare
a true war on poverty
and are willing to bomb with wheat



The armadillo lies
in the center of the road
with his feet in the air

The shell on his back
for centuries over used
caused the spine in his neck
to become somewhat fused

So that when he hears
that danger is near
he has to leap and turn
to cover his rear

And if that sound is the front of a car
he leaps into a sudden marriage
of armadillo and undercarriage

So he lays on his back and he waves his feet
a warning to travellers from far and near
about the many dangers of old fear

and old ways of dealing with it



Carl Walenda used to say

He only felt alive
when walking the high wire
everything else was just waiting

Some rodeo cowboys feel the same way
for eight seconds on a good day

One day in South America
Carl Walenda checked his tie downs
something he never did

He went up on the wire anyway
and he fell

After all those years of butterflies
it’s hard to tell

which is the black one



Eight triple one Gulf, this is seventy eight Tango Sierra
how would you like to drop in to Grand Canyon airport?

We were flying Calgary-Phoenix; he, Phoenix-Sun Valley
a friend had just lost an engine. He needed to land
and wanted a ride to Phoenix.

I didn’t know the runway but I followed him in

It’s not a very long runway, and at the end
are some pretty big trees.

I was low and slow in the old Twin Commander
the one with the geared engines

The ones you always had to handle oh so gentle
like your throttles were a handful of eggs

So I played the game and brought in the power easy

Too slow and you eat the trees
too fast and you eat the pistons, and the trees

And it was a mighty pretty runway
when you were standing on the ground

On the way back from Phoenix
It was late afternoon and we were lured
by the siren beauty of the Grand Canyon.

Right turn diversion, West to East as slow as we could go
Just below the rim the whole length of it
watching the magic colors as the sun
behind us lit up the canyon walls

Almost out of fuel we finally pulled ourselves away and
turned north to find a runway.

The wind was from the west and we had to land into the
blinding light of the sun just before it went down.

It was as if it had turned on us, this light that had made us
feel so alive, (although we had really turned on it) and was
about to kill us now because we didn’t have enough fuel to
go around and we had to face it
straight on.

With two pilot passengers looking out the side windows and
calling out heights and directions, and a little luck we got
down. And we felt good again, very good.

Always the turnings, always the changing, always the other
side of the coin. So many times in that part
of my life it seemed that the beauty and the
pleasure were but a thin membrane away
from the fear and the danger.