Matt Welter has to say about himself: I am a poet, storyteller and lighthouse keeper. I have been published in many literary magazines and have had two chapbooks published, S.A.D. Cure from Mother Superior Press and my one fresh off the press from Hodge Podge: Yellowstone 88. This new book even includes an odorphonic insert to help you visualize the smoke and flames of this fire.


gave up
then eggs
then milk
making sandwiches
one day
she held up
alfalfa sprouts
"Don't they
look like

previously appeared in Buffalo Bones. Copyright 1996 by Matt Welter


I am the only adult male in the theatre.
There are about twenty daycare providers and moms
and a hundred kids, mostly preschool.
Everything is yelling and screaming and jumping up and down
until the drapes pull back and the screen lights up.
It's amazing, the movie is relatively quiet and slow
but all toddling eyes are held to the forest and its animals.
Laughter, embarassment, exploring a new world
even "Drip, Drip, Drop Little April Showers" holds us in its spell.

Until the hunter appears at the edge of the screen
      Bambi cries,
The room swells with crying angels.
A boy runs up to the screen shouting
"You bad man! You bad man! You bad man!"
His guardian wisks him off the ground
and back outside where it's light and safe again.
I wish I could be him again and shake my fist.

Then comes the worst of all
Once again forgotten by man.
It jumps, surrounds and brings down trees.
Even in the river it is not safe.
I don't know it yet
but all over the country this movie
is beginning its blaze
over and over again
flooding our minds with a River Styx.
Forgetting that fire came before us in the forest.
Forgetting the angel of death at the edge of the screen,
coming once again to swipe our innocence.

Copyright 1996 by Matt Welter

Full Moon over Old Faithful

In August
the full moon rose blood red
through the veil of smoke
she floated through orange
      then yellow
      then green
then out of the veil she emerged nude blue and drifted down though
every color all over again.

My night started out with
Old Faithful gushing like a jugular.

Then Joel & I started hiking
up to Observation Point
to check out the view of the moonlit geiser basin.
Near the top we heard drunks.
and decided to get rid of them.
We snuck up just below the lookout,
broke some branches,
and stomped around real loud.
Then I pulled my cloak over my head
and made some grunting sounds.
then rooted around in the moonlight
just off trail.
The first of the curious
saw my burley black form
and sprang down the hill, saying,
"Hey Guys! There's a bear!"
Their response was a unanimous,

We had the lookout all to ourselves.
And we looked down like gargoyles
lurking over the steaming basin.
Old Faithful went off atomic green
mushrooming under the full blown moon.

Copyright 1996 by Matt Welter


Stories were ponderosa giants burned into steam.
tales told like black runoff filling a swollen river.

Charcoal lodgepoles caught by flashfire
preserved themselves in amber sweat cocoons.

Pennies thrown into big sky blue
Morning Glory Pool continue ingesting wishes.

I could sat forever in Castle Geiser steam -
letting sulfur crystals grow upon my glasses.

The black ashen hills sponged with young green
rivulets spreading fresh meadows and wildflowers.

Copyright 1996 by Matt Welter


we wait in this cage that cannot give a good day's run
our paws have already laid a trail in the snow
the wind brings us news of the outside world
this is mountain, but more southern mountain
there was fire all around seven years ago
sulphur comes from every direction and sometimes growls
but the smells and the sounds that make our coats bristle
are those that are absent, those that say we are alone

other than the coyotes, no one returns our howls
no brethren have left their urine or musk for decades
not even a wisp of a far off pack or a lone wolf
upwind we have watched for the slightest tailflash
all of us concur, from our alpha pair to our runt
this is the land the great-grandpack bade us
never to enter, the wounded knee of wolves
the place that man calls yellowstone
and man is here, we can hear the whine of his
snow running machines and his shiney crow craft
both used to carry men even with a pack in full sprint
the great-grandpack said,
"Every man carries a death stick
especially in the land of death
Though the hills may reek
of buffalo, elk and deer
know that this is only a lure
and will only end in death"

And the hills do smell like great clouds of buffalo
and sometimes a man comes to feed us meat
he carries a death stick, just as all men do
but if they are readying us like a fox for a hunt
then we will save our run like the beaver saves water
we six will be like the water that falls from the open gate
making elusive tracks as we race through the snow

Previously appeared in LoonFeather. Copyright 1996 by Matt Welter

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