December 5, 2017.  I spent yesterday foraging through 15 years of digital photos, seeking the right image for this poem.  Finding the poem was a simple search on title.  The search was triggered by reading Robert Okaji’s poem “Shakuhachi Blues” (on his blog: https://robertokaji.com).  It took me back to the mountain above Cloudcroft NM, sitting around an evening campfire, watching a young man whittle while listening to my man play a wooden flute – feeling the flute vibes reshape me.

That evening was in 2008, before I began pairing poems and photos.  In time the right photo surfaced – an image from elsewhere in New Mexico, at sunset, man and flute in beautiful trance.




9 thoughts on “Whittle

  1. Thank you!
    We’ve spent lots of time in NM, Arizona, Utah, Colorado – if there is a canyon, Gary wants to be in it!
    Plus I had one incredible adventure w/o Gary – a week-long “poetry workshop” (led by John Fox) in Canyon de Chelly – a Vision Quest of monumental proportions, contrary to my expectations going in.


  2. Beautifully written, Jazz! I know the mountain in Cloudcroft – I was born in Alamogordo (down the mountain) and still have family there. Such a beautiful, special place, Cloudcroft.


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