voices out of the West, mostly poetry, personal to planetary...

Peter Anderson

Crestone, Colorado


Poet, editor, author, backcountry ranger, river guide,

teaches at Adams State University

Academy of American Poets Award (Univ. of Wyo.)


Peter was poetry editor of Mountain Gazette for a few years and then involved with Pilgrimage — a Colorado literary review. He's also published a   book of essays, First Church of the Higher Elevations (Ghost Road Press, Denver, 2005).


2 by Peter Anderson




Is the space where we are most at home

The sound of the word takes me to water,

to the river maybe, the nose of a kayak in

the heart of a wave, as it spills over a ledge

curls back upstream, crests and falls again

crests and falls again and holds the boat

in place, as long as I dip paddle and rudder,

keeping to the sweet spot, where the up

and down currents meet, where there is

stillness in motion, where I am held letting

the sun slivered water slide by on the glassy

edge of a hole in the river. Dwell as water

on water, blood on blood, surf the heart

of it all. You are here, says querencia.

in this body, on this river, you are here.



* Querencia = favorite spot, in Spanish




Where you begin  is  never the beginning    you always below the high snow fields    not the beginning either   and above the ocean   never stays    where you end is a different question the sign at the cemetery says burial permits required: please check in before you check out   i am of this place now but I won’t be left in its ground   drifters are water dwellers   But say my ashes end up in Crestone Creek and they go under   i mean we live on a rift

the Rio Grande Rift   and it’s a big deep fault   the water goes down and down through the blue clay   and stays there a long time   i mean a long time  i mean the water goes down in those dark fissures to a time before dinosaurs and ice age   so when my daughter says where does the creek go I say it goes to the ocean   and maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t   I mean there’s a lot of water down there not going anywhere anytime soon   this water, these rocks take their own fine time    they   take   their  own  fine   time. is a non-commercial project, an online anthology, to share a poetic vision of the land we love.

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