Shaun Griffin is a poet, translator, editor, and activist. A native of Southern California, he has lived with his wife and family in Virginia City, Nevada, since 1978. Griffin is the author of five poetry collections, which honor the West's many cultures and landscapes...
[Anthem for a Burnished Land is the poem that poet Shaun Griffin wrote for Governor Sandoval's inauguration. He read the poem on January 3, 2011 and has kindly granted us permission to publish it on the ONE.]
The great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney, said the end of art is peace...
Walking your dog, Cookie,through the low curbs of Carson,wondering who will cash your check
for misery, for rain, so that youmight escape the brick terraceof rent, of living outside this land—
the rucksack piled in your sledyou drug up the snow of Wild Rose Creekto meet me...
Pavarotti lies in a hospital bed,and my sons who have no opera
to console them, pulled from the driveway.
I held them in the garage without words—poet who could say nothing—
and my hands, the empty tools of fatherhood—
chased their bikes from the greasy floor,...
Strangely wonderful it isto bike this paththrough eastern Arizonawithout a belongingto say my name.
Crow at my back,cattle in the creek meadowand wildfire beyond the ridge—is Snyderstillin the lookout tower?
Mountain bluebird,buffalo, and...
for Hayden Carruth
Are there wordsfor what you cannot,lying in this wilderness, express—with her hands to love you
to the center of the bed,the window with a cardinalat the lopsided feeder, andthe weathercock that crows
in all weatheras you almost crowto the harrowing...
There's lots to say that don't need words.—Maxine Kumin
At the kiosk, thirteen women sittheir wheelchairs, trying to find a face.
The nursing station is empty, the lightblinks for assistance and the bell snickers
to no one. I walk in, cross their pathlike a deer...