For the Anniversary of My Death

by W.S. Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveller
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth

And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the fallling cease
And bowing not knowing to what


William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019)

Blair Spaulding


I don’t care to look at his obituary surrounded by ugly newspaper advertising on websites so I am posting it here:


RUPERT • Blair Earl Spaulding, 88, of Rupert, passed away Monday, April 2, 2012, at Valley Community Living Center in Rupert.

Blair was born March 25, 1924, in Thorton, Idaho, to Earl Eli and Gladys Vie Thomason Spaulding, the oldest of eight children. He lived in the Independence area growing up. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1947 as a crew chief during World War II. On Aug. 16, 1944, he married Betty Jeanne Walker in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They lived in Ririe, Heisi and Blackfoot, then homesteaded north of Rupert in 1956. He farmed and drove truck in the winters, built farm equipment, overhauled engines and could repair anything.

He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the bishopric, as Explorer leader, gospel doctrine teacher, ward missionary leader and many other callings. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, motorcycles, snowmobiles and boating and was a private pilot. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends; working hard, then playing hard.

Blair is survived by his children, Blair Kent (Mary Ann) Spaulding, Bruce (Linda) Spaulding, Brian (Joy) Spaulding, Berry (Celia) Spaulding and Bobra (Chris) Jensen; 35 grandchildren; 88 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Vance Spaulding, Ray Spaulding, Brent Spaulding and Errol Spaulding; and sisters, LaVonna Perry and Charlamae Jacobson. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; parents, Earl and Gladys Spaulding; sister, Rosalee Warner; and granddaughter, Trenna Spaulding.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 6, at the Heyburn LDS 1st Ward Chapel, 530 Villa Drive in Heyburn, with Bishop Brock Mitchell officiating. Burial will follow at the Paul Cemetery with military rites by the Mini-Cassia Veterans. A viewing for family and friends will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the Hansen Mortuary, 710 Sixth St. in Rupert, and one hour prior to the service Friday at the church.

The family would like to thank the Valley Community Living Center for their loving care of Blair.



Here my own Father, who took the photo above and who passed away years before Blair, talks about meeting him.


we live in the tongue of obscurity
and behold the rose of our meaning
with horse courage

don’t minimize the touch
of nature’s prophet and the smooth
glass river she is true to

the dove returns stunned
to the frigid ledge
and trout glide by unharmed

find your clarity in the jack-pine
and the perfect shade into which
the white tailed deer pauses

do you not believe in frost
and the cost of dreams
that conceive change?

when I look upon your stony
untroubled face I see
fire and leaves

it’s strange, no? how hearts
reckon with the mind
how far fear goes to force itself upon clarity

I pity the God who proclaims
the obvious
and passes the day on unsound streets

surprise the earth
see your way clear


What comes of rolling spume

I opened the door and
found two summers waiting for me

I opened the door and found
a shortcut, through blood,
to your vice

I opened the door and found
wingless angels
on the lawn

I opened the door and
found butterflies
flailing in hot tea

I walked outside and
mapped the flood plains
of Mexico

I walked outside
flanked by
sparrows and skunks

I drove to the
illumination of history

I drove to the oaks
of barbarism and lies

I drove over bridges
laced with snakes

I parked near
hints of reality

I parked near
a litany of losses

I walked to
plastic saints

I walked to
stony memories

I fell in
love with Beethoven

I fell in
bed with ferns

What comes of
whole creation

What comes of
lightning clouds

What comes of
wind on beaches

What comes of
rolling spume

the Cormorant

the Pelican

the driftwood

the illusion

Dear god
let’s not break
into rhyme

Dear god
I really
mean it this time

Oh fuck
now I’m
locked in

release me
from this sin


Muir Beach

ah, there it is
spring in your brother’s

You did it didn’t you?
Asian American

You did it, didn’t you?
colored lips

You did it, didn’t you?
Seattle’s shoreline

I went home
to a second heart

I went home
to a ball of lead

I went home
to horse the moment

I went home
no, I’m not going

waves of desire sang
birds tableau
lodestar lodestar lodestar

bus drivers of Tacoma
let go of their brakes
and blue eyed breasts
sank below their volleyballs

We’ve tested the wind
it’s substantial

We’ve tested the tongue
it’s indicative

We’ve tested the romaine
it’s shitty

We’ve tested the night
it’s wily
and I don’t mean Dobbs

Does anyone
have any Mozart?

Does anyone
have any shame?

Does anyone
give an impeachment?

Say what you want
Pelosi’s got game

“She’ll cut your head off and you won’t even know you’re bleeding.”

I filled the pot
with fiddlehead ferns

there was a build up
of weather on my brows

she walked through the
door unlocked
bringing with her
my night thoughts
and prayers and maps
of Roman back roads

It’s an odd person
who convicts the breath
with shadow
who sees death’s
landscape unsecreted
and can’t muster a tear

she’s water

cairn of grand assumptions

as you walked out this morning
I wondered on your smoothness
and the birds you taught to fly

books couldn’t write what
your money and musical voice

paragraphs of
feathered clauses
lifted you to
insane flight


preposterous rumors of your death
circumnavigated the world
and fell spent in
Texas bushes

when we married
the never
in that thought gap
between bridge and
Water Ouzel
we staggered

remember to pamper, preen,
and fix your collar
you said
this isn’t god damned
Yellowstone after all
you can’t get away
with that mangy bison
shit here at the dipper
bridge. we’re high fuckin’ class
or should be
you art historian

winter sits on
me lightless
while Englishmen
boil in Brexit

one night down at the
Apollo where I’ve
never been I ran
into your sculpture
or thought I did

I was, at the time
contemplating rippled clouds
over turbulent olive seas
meandering through
massive memories
of yesterday
coaxing spiders
from their dark corners

Are you proposing we
cuff ourselves
to the bed
and playfully
punish our

a boy, Sunday,
rifled through my briefcase
looking for caramels.
he found photographs
of his parents instead

on what mistake
did I leave off?
was it your family
or mine destroying
the roadside special
poem of us?

we were thinly
sliced pond ice
over Wordsworth water.

all the winter
evenings died
their dark cold

walk now through
my lover’s woods
to the still standing
cairn of grand

our bungalow darkens

A scrap of dawn light
approaches the tracks at the
speed of

Beauty strains
choice and measurement
we’re stumped
what can we say?
there is a standard
choice is real

worm rot

some pain lead
me to our introduction
what do you think of my new glasses?

what was the world like before lithium and Zoloft?
how were breasts bound up for sport
before spandex?

there was love
like a smell
of rare disease
in your

i rarely think of you
now, behind the big door
sodden with wine
working your freedom
like some version
of America the miracle


it’s a summer’s night without
I’m on the outside now
only my art works miracles

scuff bubbles
blister knobs
the promise of

did you think yourself
a thought pleasure

can i tell you
a question mark

in spirit
there was a secret
road that lead
to this paragraph

it was two feet
photographed bare
on wet rock

what friends?


When they suggested
picketing the sewer
I prayed to the
god of Mantis

He said there are
no rose gardens
or ancient maps of the world
The moon rises everywhere
and on Sunday
the blood work
will beg for flowers
and the body will rip
nourishment from
pretty bird roots
perch perch perch

Where’s your decency
your camel hair
your sheepskin?

Don’t be alarmed
all my teachers
came from North Dakota
Cuba and the long arch
of St. Louis.

it is in jeweled light that
I speak your death
not to your alarm
or amazement but
for the sake of unspeakable
odds alone


a drop of water
viewed through a
conquers all childhoods

what are the odds
the luckless girls
would drop into
unbreakable encapsulations
of sky-less stars
burning their thermo

30 years go
when i slept in the field
of quiet bees
I felt valor in the
sex of your evaluation

a fiction in your diction

a predilection in your benediction

the waves of darkness
are now assuaged
spring has disappeared
and silent soft wings pierce
the night air

our bungalow darkens