Keith Moul



Olympic Discovery Trail Monday Questions


Forest Disciple Stripped


A red cedar log has been abandoned

to currents of the Salish Sea, drifted

to this sheltered bay, to lie stranded

on basalt rocks lining the pedestrian

shore, finally lodged, come to rest.


Who will repudiate its ragged scars,

its unquiet felling, peeling red bark?


Where did it fall? Clear cuts abound

on the nutcracker's heights. Would a

nutcracker refuse a proffered peanut?;

abet a logger with another scalping?;

accompany a tree to its deep descent?;

mount a resistance on a tree's behalf?;

denude a tree's protective bark; delimb,

stress a bole to split and crack, dump

an icon of romance to float and bob?


This castaway proves unwelcome to

denizens of the Salish Sea; it pricks

the herons, the ubiquitous gulls, and

raccoons shuffling by as if a squatter,

tongue lolling, indifferent to its death.



The Beak Penetrates


A crow drops its prey from its beak,

plummets to retrieve it on the shell,

guts the bivalve like a true gourmand.


A satisfactory meal of clam depends

on a durable shell and adductor hinge.


I’m here mainly for exercise, after which

I’ll return to sup with the crow on the pier.



Keith Moul © 2018

Midwesterner as Tourist


My place presents forever flat vistas

seeking horizons in every direction,

seething displacement without calm.


This place is much different, as I see.

Will you tell me how to stand erect

when only the bay surface is level?


Of course you may refuse to answer.

Will I offend if I ask your reasoning?

Would you agree that these differences

will tend to provoke bitterness except

when the clouds settle on our heads?

Do we dare to believe our ideas false?


Do you also tend to avoid your time?



Las Vegas, Refuge for a Christian Nation


Christians alone in the universe

straining first to reach,

then on the long ride home,

to cleanse their sins.

Conscience makes a hard bargain:

what happens in Las Vegas

stays in Las Vegas.



Keith Moul © 2018