James Bertolino

Dear Bigfoot

I’m sending you this message

to deny that I am deceased.

However, as the general consensus

would have it, I may be, like you,

extinct. What I was as an active, younger man

no longer exists. That life is gone.

Now when I look into a thriving, green-faced

pond, I am comforted by both the microscopic

and tangible life. When my eyes climb

the slim, angled legs of the heron,

then move from the point of its long beak

to beautiful, round eyes that do not

hesitate to stare back at me, I bless

that bird as it flaps its large, somewhat awkward

wings. I am present in this world,

and the world is present in me.

My belief does not require that I fold

my hands in prayer.

I, too, am blessed.

Published in the WA129 anthology, edited by Washington Poet Laureate Tod Marshall, and published this year by Sage

Hill Press in Spokane


The Anointing

            Every hilly acre

            loves water


            each tree inhabits the earth

            with its thirst


            stones brighten

            under dull clouds of rain


           even the fungus considers dampness

           its maker.

This poem has been installed as a weather-proof placard on a mountain trail on Guemes Island (across the channel from Anacortes)

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