To Stop an Avalanche


place a bomb below it, and I’m not talking a metaphorical one,

a real nasty bomb like you’d see in a Sam Peckinpah picture starring Steve McQueen. Aim at the target several loads of dynamite or train a Howitzer high

to a leeward slab mocking the wind. Slice it off like a smooth

layer cake at a dull office party. Watch out for a pack

more than thirty degrees, especially after

a snowstorm. Yesterday, my patrol buddy

Dave released a slide by skiing to the top—

hope he won’t get buried this time. Wet

Sierra cement is quite stubborn to

explosives, but dry is the real killer,

the monster feeding on ego, speeds

topping ninety miles on the 105

impressing his girlfriend in

the red Camaro. Why all

the violence against

Nature? ‘Cause she’s

not sterile, but sneaky,

a heckuva lot smarter

than us.


This poem was part of the Sierra Poetry Festival’s Opening Event for National Poetry Day in Nevada City, CA



The Lobby at the Rood Center
950 Maidu Avenue
Nevada City, CA 95959

From World Poetry Day through National Poetry Month, Nevada County Arts Council, the County of Nevada and Nevada County Libraries present Poems on Belonging at the Rood. Our exhibition is an intimate grouping of poems that center individual notions of belonging, yet are distinct from one another. We hope our exhibition sparks conversations that encourage belonging. We feel that public spaces such as the Rood Center should be welcoming and encouraging for all people. After all, if there is one thing we have in common, it is that Nevada County is our home.