Poem of the Week, by Jim Harrison


Larger than life wilderness hunter fisher beautiful women drop at my feet gunslinger writing got old for me a long time ago. When I come across it I think, Oh come on. Tell me what’s really going on in there, behind the bluster and the swagger and the macho. Tell me how you feel about your child, or what you think about when you think about leaving this world. Which is why I so love this poem, by the larger than life Mr. Harrison, who died this past March.

     – Jim Harrison

They used to say we’re living on borrowed
time but even when young I wondered
who loaned it to us? In 1948 one grandpa
died stretched tight in a misty oxygen tent,
his four sons gathered, his papery hand
grasping mine. Only a week before, we were fishing.
Now the four sons have all run out of borrowed time
while I’m alive wondering whom I owe
for this indisputable gift of existence.
Of course time is running out.
It always has been a creek heading east, the freight
of water with its surprising heaviness
following the slant of the land, its destiny.
What is lovelier than a creek or riverine thicket?
Say it is an unknown benefactor who gave us
birds and Mozart, the mystery of trees and water
and all living things borrowing time.
Would I still love the creek if I lasted forever?


For more information on Jim Harrison, please click here.