Please help the Black Earth Institute continue to make art and grow community so needed for our time. Donate now »

a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Dick Bakken

Swat River – Rabia O’Loren




Unseen, women

bath shyly—lovely

breasts, floating

sea turtles.



As I dream

a snail slips across


our floated window all night

tracing the moon.



Rain rolls off

the heron’s back into


this stream that flows on

through a flash of fins flying


over your dinghy.


Author biography:

Dick Bakken was the first person allowed a creative MA thesis in English at Washington State University, a volume of his poetry (1965). His “Song” was displayed across the USA in the initial Poetry on the Buses, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (1979). Among other honors, he won third place in the Billee Murray Denny National Poetry Award (1989), a $5,000 Artist Projects Grant from Arizona Commission on the Arts (1992), second  place in the Mark Fischer Literary Prize of Telluride’s Community Art Center (2003), and the Bisbee Idol First Place Trophy for rapping his original “A Fish in School” (2010). His work is published in Greatest Hits 1967–2002 (Pudding House Publications), 100 American Poets against the War (Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design), and New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press), among others.


©2024 Black Earth Institute. All rights reserved.  |  ISSN# 2327-784X  |  Site Admin