Dave Morris, Craig Middle School eighth-grade language arts teacher, holds a rough draft of one of his recent poems. Morris recently published his second book of poems, titled "Slippery Wind."

Photo by Bridget Manley

Dave Morris, Craig Middle School eighth-grade language arts teacher, holds a rough draft of one of his recent poems. Morris recently published his second book of poems, titled "Slippery Wind."

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Craig Middle School teacher releases second poetry collection

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Where There's Smoke

An unpleasant haze clogs the nostrils

blankets the air

wind whipped

smoke and ash and distant angry heat.

To the north the south the west

fat columns of ominous dark

blossom gray against a gritty sky.

Three distant wildfires rage

like unsupervised school yard bullies

beating up

blackening

miles of defenseless desert.

- From Dave Morris' "Slippery Wind"

If you go

What: Dave Morris' reading from his second poetry collection, "Slippery Wind"

When: 2 p.m. March 8

Where: Downtown Books,

543 Yampa Ave.

Cost: Free

Call: 824-5343

— Dave Morris, Craig Middle School eighth grade language arts teacher, thought publishing a book of poetry was a passing fancy - a one-time occurrence marking a temporary phase.

This month, he proved himself wrong.

A stack of slim paperback books titled "Slippery Wind" sits neatly tucked inside a nondescript cardboard box in his classroom. The publication represents Morris' second foray into the poetry market.

Outskirts Press, a publishing company in Parker, published "Slippery Wind," earlier this month. The 83-page book contains a handful of Morris' sketches and more than 70 of his poems about "local people and local places," Morris said.

The book is available for sale at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries, Downtown Books and Morris' home at 1083 Colorado St.

Morris based many of his poems on natural sites, including Browns Park, Little Snake River and west Dinosaur Monument.

Morris' first published work, "Feral Country," rolled off the presses about three years ago. The volume represented more than 20 years of work.

Morris, thinking he had explored all the topics he could in "Feral Country," intended his first book to be his last.

"It was a sad thing to think about," he said.

Yet, his creative energies didn't wane as he had expected them to.

Instead, they increased.

"I just kind of got on a creative binge," Morris said, adding that he went from writing one good poem a month to two or three in a week.

The feedback from his first book, coupled with his ongoing fascination with Moffat County people and places, gave him the confidence, motivation and subject matter to write more, he said.

Morris, a full-time teacher for 31 years and a Moffat County resident for 18 years, says he doesn't solely find time to write - he makes time. He carries a notebook with him at all times, he said, to catch phrases and images he could use in a poem.

Recently, Morris has used that notebook heavily.

"I'm already writing new poems," he said. He held a sheet of paper on which he had sketched out a few lines.

"I'd like to think there will be a third book."

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