4/10/17

Belle Turnbulle (1881-1970)

Only the drift of tameless folk,
Tough in sinew, tough in bone,
Knit in their outlandishness,
Long endure by naked stone.

from Will Boil Too Early, The Ten Mile Range Belle Turnbulle 


A few dear poet friends and I will be discussing Belle's work at the Breckenridge Creative Arts Center the evening of Friday, April 21.  More information can be found here:  rANGE


Turnbulle, who lived in Breckenridge for the last 30 years of her life, came to speak the dual language of mountain and mining: 

Mountains were made for badgers, Probus said,

And badgers for the mountains.  And so long
As I can claw a tunnel, with the strong
Smell of the ore beyond, I shall be led
To sink my pick in holes unlimited,
To rummage in old stopes and raise the song
Of victory too soon, all laid along
Hellbent to crack a granite maidenhead.

And men of war may hoot and presidents

Rock down the chutes to hell, but I'll be going
Soon as a patch of mountainside is showing.
Soon as a bluebird settles on a fence,
Two shall string out and beat it up the trail,
A jackass first, a miner at his tail.  

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In the meantime, here on the edge of the world, it has been a quiet morning.