Month: January 2015

the moon

splake cover photographs and poems


     i am fortunate to have a wonderful creative-artist-editor relationship with alison vyain who publishes the moon literary journal. alison has been extremely generous in giving me ink and page space for my poems as well as choosing several splake photographs for her magazine covers.

     yesterday i posted several recent copies of the moon to my archives at northern michigan university in marquette, michigan, and michigan technological university on the houghton, michigan campus.

     the following are some of the cover photographs as well as recent splake poems published by alison vyain in the moon.



september 2014




cuppa regular


early morning

barista’s small talk

italian coffee maker

strange growling sounds

hot steamy hiss

customers waiting

exotic caffeine mixtures

lattes espressos cappuccinos

make mind black

no cream or sugar

paper cup with lid

ready to go



november 2014








nighttime musings

warm leinie suds

soon winter

many miles waiting

before time to rest

father never knowing

his poetry writing son

fatal heart attack

killing chance

being proud

of his creative blood



december 2014








quiet poet

wrestling elusive muse

light always running

nighttime finally over



january 2015







vulnerable and doubting

like kafkas’ “hunger artists”

exists only to create

not seeking celebrity

accumulating wealth

finding right word

making something new





drapes pulled

long dark days

without any friends

grocery post office

trout fishing

serious forced labors

five lives gone

demanding one more



small press literary “scores”

at the close of 2014, splake had poems published in several small literary editions.  these included the kurt vonnegut memorial library journal so it goes.  he also had poems produced in cheap seats ticket to ride, bear creek haiku, penny ante feud, and trajectory. the literary magazine trajectory published the splake photograph of the old railroad station in seney, michigan, where ernest hemingway arrived to discover and write about the “big two-hearted river.”


so it goes, indianapolis, in


hip gallerinas


bloody guitar fingers

playing another riff

lonely poet

staring in mirror

seeing pollack’s ghost

watching colors dry



academic angling


buff colored volvo

faculty parking lot

trout fishing outing

expensive graphite rod

fly box loaded

dry “ibis”

weighted “op cits”



trajectory, frankfort, ky


t. kilgore splake's photo of the old train station in seney, mi  published in trajectory, fall 2014

t. kilgore splake’s photo of the old train station in seney, mi
published in trajectory, fall 2014


always heading north


relentless focus

bolano jim harrison splake

crossing nameless rivers

hiking toward mountains

seeking space

solitary beauty

abandoning greed

broken-hearted love

forgotten youthful dreams

living in pine shadows

running with wolves

soaring on eagle wings

dark clear nights

moon belongs to us



cheap seats ticket to ride, empire, co


her soft voice whispering, “i

still love you, please come

home,” like yuri zhivago on

endless odyssey, chasing aching


bear creek haiku, boulder, co


sanity = denial of reality and no poets

about as creative as toilet seat at

“self-service” gas station  on the


penny ante feud, alpharetta, ga


darkness into light


early morning

first dawn shadows

turning tranny miles north

time for trekking

leaving quiet footsteps

climbing cliffs summit

crossing brautigan creek

recalling papa hem favorite

across the river

and into the trees

solitary poet

whiskey soaked brain

moving slowly

out of body consciousness

not like others

ant farm beehive drones

dawn to dusk

doing same old same

or tartt’s goldfinch

cage chained ankle

always landing in same place

listening to forest ghosts

old copper miners

big lake seamen

lumberjacks and trappers

finnish farmers

tilling hard-scrabble soils

young native warriors

children lost

hot diphtheria fevers

better companions

than living cadavers

stupid petty voices

not missing woman

sacred profane passions

adriana of dreams

“renata” safe for papa

sad females

full of pas resentments

collected from junior high

constant naggy complaints

numbing creative visions

leaving unpublished books

lost in literary shadows

moving up path

passing young pines

needles softly purring

old meadow with

thimbleberries in season

deep blue sky

thin clouds across horizon

hawks eagles falcons

soaring on warm thermals

reaching escarpment heights

standing at world’s edge

thinking about beyond

wondering what’s next

knowing i’ll be here forever

dave engel scattering

funeral ashes and bones

afternoon light fading

racing night

back down cliffs

retrieving pickup truck

crockpot madness stew

bard res dinner waiting

before lost in darkness

like prisoner of tri-xxxy neg

keeping eyes open

for mountain lion

like matthiessen’s snow leopard

another pure spirit