tooth and bone
sperm and shell
feather and strike
scale and fang
flower and thorn
skull and socket
antler and butt
talon and egg
horn and hoof
sand and spine
The rattler’s hiss down a red boulder
breaks into my waking
dream of an elder guiding
me along the rim of this canyon.
My true guide shakes to a stop, forked
tongue flickering to taste the breeze.
The path on this brink edges me
toward vertigo in the lingo of doves
and diamond backs.
Sometimes to travel one must become still.
This is the hardest journey.
Sometimes, the necessary travel. One must
This is the hardest.
When I take my blood to the desert
there is a river in the desert.
Dust assembled into current whirling
around bone, carried by bone.
A name, one name.
“Hero’s Journey” is excerpted from “DESERT RIVERS” and reprinted from Chelsea 60.
Peter Munro’s first calling is poetry. Fortunately, he also has a second calling, fisheries science, loved second best but still much beloved plus it provides him a day job. As a poet, Munro has had poems published in a variety of journals, including Poetry, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Iowa Review, The Atlanta Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Chelsea, The Literary Review (Web), the Seattle Review, The Southern Poetry Review, Harpur Palate, The Crab Creek Review, Rosebud, and Borderlands. Munro is grateful to be a member of the 2013 cohort of the Jack Straw Writer’s Program. As a fisheries scientist, he helps conduct trawl surveys of commercially important bottom fish in the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands, and the Gulf of Alaska.