McKenzie Pass, Oregon

McKenzie Pass, Oregon by Laura Russell

Book Three of my Show & Tell Chapbook Series is a love story. The poem shows the love of the open road, a bicycle, a landscape and a man, though not necessary in that order! The photograph is a panoramic moonscape shot at the top of a magical volcanic lava field in Oregon.

The original poem to accompany the photograph reads:

McKenzie Pass, Oregon by Laura Russell

Riding a bike on the moon.
That’s what it felt like that
early shimmering spring day.
Pristine cloudless dome,
Cascade peaks in the distance.
16 miles outside Sisters.

Churning straight up and up,
legs burning, heart thumping.
First, forested switchbacks,
snow blanketing sun-less tree roots,
fresh greenery sprouting and flashing.
Chipmunks skittering, barely
missing the catastrophe of my tires.

McKenzie Pass, Oregon by Laura Russell

Up and up, legs still burning,
heart settling in, finding tempo.
My tires not so much flying,
but managing to avoid the embarrassment
of rolling backward, or worse, walking.

Up and up, legs still burning,
now big sky. Heart be still.
Tree line suddenly stops,
switchbacks suddenly switch,
I round a long curve to explosive expanse.

Crags, craters, cinders,
rough chunks of earth’s crust
the size of softballs strewn like toys.
Black lava for miles and miles
flows from some prehistoric time
when the earth exploded, molten fury.

Up and up, marvel all around me
I finally catch Steve, standing silently,
lost in moonscape thoughts.
My heart sings. What luck, this man.
Still riding with me after all these years,
Still sharing such wonder.


Click on images for larger views.

McKenzie Pass, Oregon
Limited Edition Artist Book by Laura Russell

To purchase this book contact Laura.

Pamphlet stitch cover with stepped-fold accordion interior. Archival pigment print. Mohawk Superfine and Canson Mi Tientes papers, 4 x 6.75 x .125 inches. Extends out to 18.5 inches. Signed and numbered edition. 2019. Edition of 25.


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