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Issue #131, Spudfest, Carbondale and Chautauqua, October 2006. A trip is made in early October, 2006 (the height of potato season) to a high Colorado valley famed for potates, where the 14th annual Spudfest celebration is held. Later in the month, haiku writers Patrick Lynn, Krista Morien, David Harper, Sanjay Rajan Sara Benson and Jonathan Machen make an annual trek to the base of the Flatirons for a group kukai. All images by Jonathan Machen.

a rainy misty morning
the clouds break over town
shadow in valley fog
bovines in grass
meal in mountain mist

dominoes guy
drops cigarette butt in pool
on edge of asphalt

morning rain puddle
cattle steaming under fog
fresh october morn

lone cottonwood
yet filling the entire valley
yellow splendor

sock puppets
abandoned in the grass
the moment now gone

shaggy manes
pushing through plastic
determined to thrive

summit of sopris
enigmatic, while city
basks in sun below

early season storms
bring snow to mt. sopris
clouds thicken, wind blows

black, floppy-eared:
house rabbit between the legs
of spud visitors

spuds strangely absent
from potato festival -
searching for a sack

point of irony:
can't find bag of spuds
in famed spud valley

a string of lights
over spud toppings
warm october cheer

almost anything
can lie on top of a spud
but only one can win

organic russets
thick-skinned, pulled from cellar
just days ago

forming voters' block
children decide that ice cream
wins the least healthy

fourteenth annual
spudfest has its artifacts:
spud platters, trophies

screw the rules
flags, dogs, babies

the wonder of the spud
the fruit of the earth
that has fed so many,
diversified from
a peruvian experiment
in nutrition,
now a mass-produced icon
of the corporate world

genetically modified,
finally arrayed
in a carbondale household

a reason for a social gathering -
not christmas, thanksgiving
or halloween -
but spudfest!

cool breeze made
my face tense up, lips parched
sun peeks past the clouds

crunching through the snow
wondering when that drip of snot
will fall from my nose

normally i leave
the trail behind
today it comes with

where to place my book
so it doesn't go down
the porta-potty

amazing silence
yet so close
to chaos of 29th

no pretty words
to describe
the sludge on my shoes

not for long
will frozen ground remain -
temperamental day

trio of climbers
pause to check me out
"like our carabiners"?

snow pillows nestled
on a tree branch going to
fall on the tree shaker

out of control
trail into the bushes
were there giggles or tears?

figure eights
ended abruptly
in a leap

angels sprawled
across snow
doggie spontaneity

imagining her
expensive thong underwear
riding up her crack

atop flatiron one
mystery man sit
perhaps in my mind

leaving her husband
and his immense house
taking the dog

summit of sopris
turbulent and cloudy
wet valley morning

mud, mud, mud, mud, mud
mud, mud, mud, mud, mud
wet dirt

moon boot print iced up
will be there till
after the snow melts

aspen leaves
gone crisp
rustle in october air

pretending i'm a tree
miles of birdsong stretch out
in all directions

sparkle and shimmer
snow retains this
october sun

balloons and roses
at the base of chautauqua
wedding cheer in the snow

joint stiff
on all these plane rides
no chautauqua hikers

too many layers on
to pull my underwear up

steep slick trail
an afterthought in summer
now a luge run

resting in the moment
on which eternity sits
filled with sadness and love

a herd of runners
suddenly bursts through the woods
mistaking me for prey?

as long as his feet
are touching the snow
siberian husky glides

that asian man's dog
doesn't understand chinese
any better than me

warm hug
from an old friend
on a cold day

like a giant magnet
unable to avert my eyes
from flatiron presence

mountain silence
occasionally broken
by crow gone hoarse

mug slips
chai spills
snow sudden red

perfectly white rooftops
seem to beckon me
to run up and down them

crunch of lone hiker
on icy path in shade
calling for his dogs

sunday snooze
til 9:30
sandwiched between goldens

a quiet thank you
as i step aside for the
dark foreign woman

mojito happy
knowin' there is
such thing as snow

ice crackle
under snow better
crackle than slip

haiku energy
all spent up on slippery slope
don't fall focus

tail like bottle-brush
black squirrel evades
my slow digital

as if autumn weeds
not trampled enough by snow
sledders complete task

140 pounds
of doggie muscles
my jacket pulled sideways

reminded again
of how much
i rely on sunshine

the woods disappear
and reappear as my mind
turns on and off

fingers frigid
yet mind fresh
for damn haikus

tired post-it
more tired
than doggie days

drip drop pattern
under the tree reminds me
winter is transcendent

shadows longer,
twilight feel at noon
under the trees

so much snow on the
ground - you'd think it was winter
or something

short and squat
little weiner dogs
on broad mountain path

taking my new foot
on a hike up the slippery
slider-y trail

mullen stalks
shed their leaves and plumage
but not their uprightness

dog did it
not me. snow
smeared yellow

chai not spilled
yet this snow red
by trampers' tramp

(the last two pics - participants in the third annual Boulder Shootout)

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen