Found poetry: Silent City

At the Scrap Exchange in Durham, North Carolina, I found several empty boxes that had once held photographic slides from the 1960s, presumably of vacations to the western United States. 

Although the slides were missing, the labels were intact, neatly typed on specially sized index cards.

Because of the narrow confines of the cards, the titles of the slides were brief. Each succinct line contains an innate meter, as well as a random yet inevitable juxtaposition of poetic phrases.

I distilled some of the 100-some titles into four assemblages, each based on a respective index card.

The index cards, with their full text, are pictured on this page.

1. Long View

Mormon temple 
evening shadows
on dinosaur grazing land
Nation’s icebox
Nearby picnic
Ladies and gents 
fasten seat belts
We are on our way to the moon

2. Ditto

The chipmunks and 
the gray jay
Animal lovers
Three tall timbers 
flat flat country 
Lawrence, Kansas 
more of the same

3. Great White Throne

Foggy morning getting down 
close to the Colorado 
Lunch time with Tom
At Bright Angel 
mountain scenery 
with patches 
of aspen
Silent City
Court of Patriarch
Great White Throne

4. Yosemite Falls in a.m.

Canyon and sunlit
Twin giants
Facade and shadows
General Grant
Twice across the plateau 






Forest primeval 
and its people