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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: CdA’s propagator of poetry pens poems that are pure Montana

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 24, 2019

Roger Dunsmore, of Coeur d’Alene, acclaimed poet and longtime University of Montana professor, staples a copy of the poem “Regret” by his wife, Jenni Fallein, to a Coeur d’Alene telephone pole. (Photo courtesy of Jenni Fallein)
Roger Dunsmore, of Coeur d’Alene, acclaimed poet and longtime University of Montana professor, staples a copy of the poem “Regret” by his wife, Jenni Fallein, to a Coeur d’Alene telephone pole. (Photo courtesy of Jenni Fallein)

Roger Dunsmore has spent the six years in his adopted hometown of Coeur d’Alene promoting the work of other poets. Dunsmore?

He’s the UMontana professor emeritus who pedals his bike around town, stapling top-notch poetry to utility poles. He has nailed 59 poems to poles during his time in the Lake City, the latest by Japanese artist-poet Katsushika Hokusai. You can find a copy at Ninth Street and Foster Avenue.

Now, however, the focus is Roger’s own work. In September, the Drumlummon Institute published a lifetime of Roger’s best poetry in the 410-page book “On the Chinese Wall: New and Selected Poems, 1966-2018.” The title plays on the facts that Roger taught twice in China (Great Wall) in the 1990s. And that he led annual educational field trips along the Chinese Wall, a limestone escarpment in northwest Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Roger’s poems are quintessential Montana. They’re honest, gritty and understandable. You don’t need a B.A. in literature to enjoy them. You just need a love for the American West and an appreciation for well-crafted words.

Do yourself a favor and pick up Roger’s magnum opus at the Well Read Moose at Riverstone in Coeur d’Alene. You can thank Huckleberries later.

Coffee, anyone?

Marvin George Miller, the fire-breathing conservative who drives liberals cuh-razy with his partisan letters to the Coeur d’Alene Press, prefers the coffee at McDonald’s. Not only is the java cheaper and better than coffee at your garden variety coffee shop, sez Marvin, but Mickey D’s is quieter. You can actually hear what the guy on the other side of the table is saying … Earlier this month, Chanse Watson observed his third anniversary at the Shoshone News Press by Facebooking two things he’s learned, for sure, about the news biz: Most people only read the headlines. AND: Someone will always find a way to be upset with what you’ve written, no matter what the subject. Journalism isn’t as easy as it looks, friends and neighbors … Huckleberries suspects some motorists gun their engines when they see that yellow caution sign north of Dalton Gardens City Hall on Fourth Street: “Slow Down, Fawns in Area.” Many Dalton Gardens residents, especially gardeners, are sick of the plentiful, four-legged critters who dine on flowers, vegetables, grass and evergreen plants.

Poet’s corner

Our legislators and their flunkies/are more laughs than barrels of monkeys;/but speaking frankly, heart to heart,/I fear they may not be as smart – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Congress”).


More than one North Idaho officer has been in the shoes of the Kellogg Police Department cops who confronted latter-day Flower Children smoking pot on Silver Mountain. The individuals were issued warnings, Sgt. Paul Twidt wrote in the KPD Roll Call report, and reminded about the difference in pot laws between abstinent Idaho and one-toke-over-the-line Washington … Bumpersnicker: The message pasted to the back of a gray Ford F-150 pickup waiting for the lights Friday at U.S. Highway 95 and Hayden Avenue was hard to miss: “Stomp on my flag, I’ll stomp on your (ah, butt).” Any questions? … And here we have Coeur d’Alene High instructor Bruce Twitchell with another of his popular hashtags, #StuffMyStudentsSay.” Quoth anon student: “I am just so proud that I turned it (the assignment) in on the exact date, just a month late.” Hmm. Close only counts in hand grenades and horseshoes … Oopsy: Art Krulitz was surprised that his wife of decades, Sherry, lives in Osburn, according to the last episode of Huckleberries. Sure, Art spent the first 18 years of his life in the Silver Valley town of Osburn. But he and Sherry, a former Shoshone County commissioner, have lived in Pinehurst since 1972. Mea culpa.

Parting shot

Most motorists refueling at the Jifi station at Prairie Avenue and Ramsey Road in Hayden on Friday would look at the discarded floss holder near the fuel pumps and say, “ee-yew.” But most people aren’t Sara McDrummond of Post Falls. Sara’s first reaction was to cheer the driver for using the floss in the first place. You see, Sara is a hygienist at Legacy Dental in Post Falls. She sees what happens to people who don’t floss. All. The. Time. However, Sara offers this advice to the health-conscious litterbug: “Maybe next time you can throw it in the trash?” Alas, some consider the world to be their trash can.

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