Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: James Welch 600

by lizard

My poetry library just passed 600 titles. The book that did it, James Welch’s Riding the Earthboy 40, is a book of poems I’m surprised took this long for me to find.

James Welch was born in Browning, Montana, and studied under Richard Hugo. It’s Montana literary lore. This week’s (somewhat tardy) poetry series comes from that collection. Enjoy!



And though the sky was bright, snow fell down.
Children ran out. Mothers read letters
that said the world would end in fire.
Snow fell on driveways, on trestles and trees.
It fell on lovers locked together
in bedrooms and back seats of Buicks
out of sight in green wild fields.

And yes, it fell with a vengeance
on statesmen who predicted peace in our time.
Priests who left the pulpit for a fine new wife
walked about, pure and heavy beneath a wet sun.

All around town, children ran out,
rolled their snow, stuck buttons, carrots,
old hats and bits of coal on shapeless lumps
to create life, in their own image.

—James Welch

  1. Pete Talbot

    How appropriate on this snowy, fall day.

    I miss James Welch – he lived a few blocks away from me. He died at a young age, 62 or 63, of, I believe, lung cancer.

  1. 1 Liz’s Weekly Poetry Series: Anticipating April | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] James Welch 600 […]

  2. 2 152 Poetry Posts to Celebrate April, National Poetry Month | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] James Welch 600 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Pages

  • Recent Comments

    Miles on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    success rate for In… on Thirty years ago ARCO killed A…
    Warrior for the Lord on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Linda Kelley-Miller on The Dark Side of Colorado
    Dan on A New Shelter for Vets or an E…
    Former Prosecutor Se… on Former Chief Deputy County Att…
    JediPeaceFrog on Montana AG Tim Fox and US Rep.…
  • Recent Posts

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,691,415 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 2,734 other followers

  • October 2012
    S M T W T F S
  • Categories

%d bloggers like this: