My home state gets my Meriwether Lewis poems, bless it. The North Dakota Humanities Council featured my poem "Meriwether Lewis at the Great Falls" along with a gorgeous painting of the same title by cowboy artiste Charles Fritz:
Captain Meriwether Lewis and the Great Falls
I was the one, the first white man, to shiver
into the wind of it--a rush so grand
it felt like God was barreling downriver.
I was the fool who marked in a clean hand
its height and spate, certain that words would claim
what savages had only scratched in sand.
I was an ass to fix it with a name.
What was the use? The blasted thing went on
thundering Shush! to spite me all the same.
After the portage, I sat up till dawn
ignoring what was missing, since I knew
that part of me had quit the corps and gone
to serve there, hushed and worshipping the view,
no matter what went on to subdue.