from Postcards: A Metaphysical Journey

By Primus St. John Primus St. John
Dear Folks,

Enclosed, is the Ordinary River.
It is called “That Devil,”
In whose name the locals are baptized.
Finally that river twists
Like a hurt thing—
They say it’s nothing.
It has become a new road
In a naked place.
Then, I am nothing
And it is that dream
I dreamed I dreamed.




I have just passed “Doubt,”
It is near “Milk Teeth,”
And “Nothing,” and “Falling Out.”
There are flowers and evidence
Of ambiguous winds.
“Doubt” is like a man
Walking in his sleep, seriously.
Offhand, it reminds me
Of a Jamesian novel
With the motives, the motives, the motives.

               Have Mercy,



To get to Innocence,
You take the narrow trail
From Deep.
You squeeze into the mountain’s waves.
If you meet savage rock,
It is the wrong way.
Turn left. . .
There, then, in our hearts’
Honeymoon, lay I.




Today is Friday.
We are still on the hill
Called Spirit of the Wind
But we are down real low
Like new flame
Just to be close.



               Baby G.,

And what you are probably babbling
I seem to see,
(I.e.) at 60 mph
This is the alfalfa field
Of my heart.
There is no museum here,
And in a convertible,
Where birds can sing,
Anything is possible.




There is a mountain called Can
She is blind with snow
But all seers are blind
What we need
In the morning when we always see her
And are always reborn
Is a magnificent horn
And the strangely uneven voice
Of her life




I checked this out. . .
You know that ridge up there
Is north, because you know
For no reason (except this).
A great wind blows.
Behind it, the stars come out
Virtually human.
And here you are, apparently
Crude, like the sound
Of a breaking string
That seems to come from the sky.

               So Long,

Primus St. John, “from Postcards: A Metaphysical Journey” from Communion: Poems 1976-1998. Copyright © 1999 by Primus St. John. Reprinted with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townshend, WA 98368-0271,

Source: Communion: Poems 1976-1998 (Copper Canyon Press, 1999)

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Poet Primus St. John

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, The Mind, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Religion, Faith & Doubt, God & the Divine, Christianity, The Spiritual

 Primus  St. John


Primus St. John was born in New York City in 1939. For more than 30 years he has lived in Oregon and taught at Portland State University. He is one of the inaugurators of the national Poets in the Schools program, the editor of two anthologies, and the author of several collections of poetry, for which he has received an Oregon Book Award and a Western States Book Award. Three of these books have been collected together, along . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Religion, Faith & Doubt, God & the Divine, Christianity, The Spiritual

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

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