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Where We Live

Don Thompson

The Parallel Press publication, Where We Live, offers a painted description of the San Joaquin Valley in California, the native land of author Don Thompson. Thompson exhibits his overwhelming love for the rural San Joaquin Valley, a place he has called home his entire life, through vivid and descriptive imagery of every day observances; “Light comes all the way / from the sun to touch a snail / on a blade of grass. / The snail moves. The day begins. / I forget what worried me.”

Don Thompson began publishing poetry in the early sixties, including several chapbooks over the years. He and his wife, Chris live on her family’s cotton farm in the southern San Joaquin Valley. He is a native of the region, and his work reflects the landscape he has lived in most of his life. For many years, he has driven the back roads to a nearby prison, where he teaches.

An article about Don Thompson and his chapbook Where We Live was published in the L.A. Times on January 17, 2010. To view the article, please click here.

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Excerpt

What You Need

Sometimes it comes too late
like smoke from a cold heart–
not smoke, not really,
but ashes blown beyond belief.

Sometimes it comes too soon,
a warm morning early in spring;
you fight to crack your cocoon open
and then freeze by nightfall.

Or you wait, sitting in the dark
until the porch light burns out,
until the stars give up,
but what you need never comes.