Oh Northern Idaho

Last summer in a writing workshop with poet Marti Mihalyi we did a session on composing state poems. The idea was to take a state, generate lists of words using facts, people, and resources from the state, then create a poem using the images, sounds and rhythms of those words. Here is mine. Read aloud and enjoy.
Oh Northern Idaho!
Esto Perpetua
toured in the old, red impala on U.S. 10
from Fourth of July Canyon to Cavendish Grade,
Kootenie, Benawah, Latah, Clearwater,
Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone, Nez Perce.
Cruised past rolling hills, cold rivers, wild huckleberries, pine.
Caught cutthroat trout, bass, perch, pike, and salmon.
Attempted rafting along the Lochsa, Snake, and Selway.

Harvested Austrian winter peas, lentils, camas root.
Mined silver,gold, lead, phosphorus, and dug new star garnets.
Spotted the yellowjackets, horseflies, junebugs, wasps.
Honored Julia Jean Mildred Francis Turner a.k.a. Lana Turner.
Practiced the square dance, rain dance, owl dance, jingle dance.
Found syringa, mountain bluebird, Cataldo Mission, Appaloosa.


  1. so fun to read your blog! I'm a blogger, too -- but I use it mainly so my family knows (kind of) what I'm up to. looking forward to seeing you in March!!

  2. Lovely! Thanks for sharing it! (I want to know how to do a "jingle dance". It sounds right up my alley!)

  3. My school has a large population of Native American students. The jingle dance is one done at PowWows. Girls sew jingles (cone like bells originally made from chewing tobacco tin lids) on their dresses so they "jingle". Families make the dresses together and many girls that I have watched grow up at my school started dancing with a jingle dress at our powwows. It is a beautiful dance! Probably right up your alley!

  4. Thank you for the information! I love learning something new. I especially like the part about families making the dresses together--what a neat tradition!


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