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Wild About Utah: Short works

Autumn landscape with a path surrounded by trees
Peggychoucair, Photographer

Now with a baby and persistent lacks and gaps in sleep, longer-form writing is gone. Lost. Kaput. The big thinking bits of the brain where creativity lies are in perpetual short-circuit from having to deal with so much else, that the only way I can write and get enough material is in the shorter form. I wonder to myself if this is how George Saunders or Rumi started. I reflect, maybe, but I’m also no George Saunders or Rumi. Probably for the best.

Regardless, I rarely find myself with the time I need to write in general. My time has been otherwise accounted for by care. That’s not a bad thing, but I don’t have the same allocation of space. Now, there are just the spaces in between care, where normally chores are done in the style of feudal ninjitsu: as fast and quiet as possible so as to not wake the sleeping. Sometimes though, there can be spaces in the spaces, where a nap goes longer than usual, and I can sit with presence, and write a few words on why, in the midst of it all, I’m tired, but still Wild About Utah.


Summer’s heat is now just warmth as the sun sets lower in the autumn sky. I listen to the last rumbles of lawnmowers and leaf blowers and reflect upon the high hot season gone by. I think about the adventures, the growth, the newness, and the labor. I think back, too, on what has passed, and whom — family, friends, mentors, and confidants. Loss never gets easier; it gets harder. Each loss is another hole in our being, which lets in the cold, and so that just as summer’s light wanes, memories fade and darkness seems inevitable as it seeps through the gaps. The challenge that is always easier said than done, though, is to take that hole and make it a window in our souls; to try to look out those new windows upon new vistas; to see that they also let in the light, even of just the stars when that darkness falls. And then it is still work to know that we can shine through them a beacon of the hearth which requires stoking. Light is given then to those who gave. It sounds easier than it is, because healing is hard, but without hope through work, it will never be. And work we do. All wounds heal soon enough, but we save the scars to remember that life is tough. And so are we.

Let the leaves lie.

When worlds collide, let the leaves lie.

Ask what is right, and do not bide

Your time making arguments for “clean” or “pure”

For trees’ ears are full of sap and so are yours.

Use your better senses, and let the leaves lie.

Season of rest

I can’t wait to slow down,

take a breath,

and warm my bones with tea by the fire.

Morning commute

Crimson canyons and golden hills

Blanket my eyes in awe

Termination snowcapped bliss

Premonate the frigid maw


Waning sunlit days

Fowl all fleeing imminent


I’m Patrick Kelly, and I’m Wild About Utah