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The Perilous Hike into Deep Wilderness by TOM YOUNG Beyond the dead-end lot’s shot-up gate, the worst behind, lighting out into roadless. But too often at first their exorcism of trashed fire-pits, girdled bark, gut piles, soiled toilet paper or dynamite the watershed over separate the fragile, Nonhuman Other from us. Today we bristle to […]

Young, Hruška-Cortés & Tirado


The Perilous Hike into Deep Wilderness


Beyond the dead-end lot’s shot-up gate,
the worst behind, lighting out
into roadless. But too often at first
their exorcism of trashed fire-pits,
girdled bark, gut piles, soiled toilet paper
or dynamite the watershed over

separate the fragile, Nonhuman Other
from us. Today we bristle to outrun
exotic plants. Sometimes it’s the voices
inside. The deeper we go, the less
it takes the rasp of airborne noise–

ATVs, freeways, or a chopper of tourists–

to fray wild, taut nerves, the psyche
threadbare (but still a medicine kit
of time and five miles of switchbacks
to recover before maybe one can hear
only an alpine lake awakening
and Golden Trout rising to nymphs).

Born to continue looking
over our shoulders, dying to believe
there will be no one up ahead
to spoil our euphoric arrival.


Tom Young splits his time between Duluth, MN and Livingston, MT. A retired Philosophy Professor, his most frequently cited journal articles are “Overconsumption and Procreation: Are they Morally Equivalent?” and “The Morality of Ecosabotage.”

He can be reached at



Qana Trilogy: Ten Years Later



            It is written that it was at Qana that Jesus turned water into wine.

Summer of Eden

We send our proxies by land and sea and air
to burn their gardens
to tear children from their dreams
to rip their histories;

they are the Nameless Ones.

Sulfur fills the air
like oven flesh
iron jaws snap heads
steel treads pulverize bones
garden gates crumble
for democracy and freedom—

the summer of Eden

30th of July, 2006
at 1:00 am
the panzers returned.

Mister Sandman. . .

We drop there /
our white dawn powder
where children sleep/
at Qana/
we drop our thunder.

Skins drop
like ripe fruit.
Bradley tanks rumble
crush /decapitate
like withered flowers
limbless in the rubble
old men in their beds
like forgotten pomegranates—
Bradley tanks rumble
airplanes thunder.

We unleash—
our Weapons of Mass Destruction:

blue and white /
red, white, and blue

phosphorus skies
children of dawn
enemies of the State.

No more Lullabies

Dusk falls. . .

Darkness creeps. .  .
children roam like scavengers.

Headless Horsemen prowl
the rubble.
Dust . .  .
the silence.

There are no more lullabies to sing.


Elías Hruška-Cortés lives in Campbell, Ca. His first book of poetry, This side and other things, was a two-sided volume featuring also the poetry of Roberto Vargas, Primeros Cantos, published by Ediciones Pocho Che, a collective of Latino poets in San Francisco, Ca. The three poems submitted represent a trilogy and are from a larger unpublished collection, Poems of Engagement.

Some anthologies where his poems have appeared include Time to Greez (1975), In The West of Ireland (1992), and in the magazine, Poet (Vol.5, No. 1: 1993).



The Waters off Lampedusa

Near the warm waters off Lampedusa,
I invited Mr. Bones to see,
cautious, investing himself with
stylized anger and beating his drums
he mournfully kept time,
sounding the rhythms
of these aching days we live in,
like the slowing down heart-beats of the
dying families now scattered on the sea floor, strewn about
like the refuse they were regarded as.

Bones saw the dead,
dream-floating amniotically, free
floating in their open water coffins,
free from all confinement now,
free, finally free!
(the occasional glare of horror on some frozen faces)
but most soft-gazing into Eternity, the permanence
they sought on their way across the warm waters
to Lampedusa.

still didn´t get it but
it didn´t matter,
nobody really did now &
nobody will tomorrow.
Trumpets won´t blow,
awards won´t be given,
speeches about the struggle for a better life
won´t be televised in their honor.
From water to water they went.
Near the warm waters off Lampedusa
civilization is dying,
hope is drowning, &
Mr. Bones is crying.

José M. Tirado is a Puertorican poet and political writer living in Hafnarfjorður, Iceland, known for its elves, “hidden people” and lava fields. His articles and poetry have been featured in CounterPunch, Cyrano´s Journal, The Galway Review, Dissident Voice, Op-Ed News, among others. He can be reached at


Editorial Note: (Please Read Closely Before Submitting)

Poets Basement is now on Facebook. Find us as

To submit to Poets Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work).  Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where.  For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights.  Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx – use “Save As” to change docx files to “.doc”).  Expect a response within two months (occasionally longer during periods of heavy submissions). Submissions not following the guidelines may or may not receive a response.

Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.

For more details, tips and suggestions, visit Thanks!