Michael J. "Hoss" Barker

For 6 years I worked on the Rogue River in the roadless wild and scenic section at Paradise
Lodge as a handyman and caretaker. I wrote four books there during the solitude of the long
wet and wild winters. I would stay upriver for 3-4 weeks at a time and then go home to
Eugene for a week. I wrote this poem out of the frustration of having to re-adjust to “The
World.” After two or three days, I was ready to head back up the canyon to Paradise.

This poem ("I Am the Poet") was originally written as a tribute to my poetic mentor, Robert W
Service, who found his niche writing of the Yukon Gold Rush in 1898. But, I think in hindsight,
it should be for all who take the time and effort to indulge in the arts.
(Spring 2010)

Hoss Barker is a self-proclaimed redneck who spent his younger adult years working in the
logging industry in the backwoods of Oregon; he is also a poet in the truest sense of the
word. Hoss took a job at Paradise Lodge on the scenic Rogue River so that he could write
his poetry. While there, he published three books of poetry (
Out of Oregon: Logging, Lies
and Poetry
, 2003; The Ballads of Lewis & Clark, 2004; and Tin Cups and Horseshoes,
My Time in Paradise, a full-length memoir published in 2014, is Hoss’ story of those
six years spent in the wilderness that he loved. (
Groundwaters 2015: An Anthology)

Website address:  none available

Index of Groundwaters contributions:

Volume 6 Issue 3 - “I've Got to Go Back" and "I Am The Poet" (poetry)
Volume 6 Issue 4 - “Death of a Poet" "The Man With No Name" and "Destiny" (poetry)
Volume 7 Issue 1 - "The Mill" (Winner of the 2010 Groundwaters Poetry Contest) and
Must I Be A Cowboy?" (poetry)
Volume 7 Issue 2 - "Cupid" (poetry)
Volume 7 Issue 3 - "Cap'ns Orders" and "As Purdy As..." (poetry)
Volume 7 Issue 4 - "Campfire Journeys" (poetry)
Volume 8 Issue 1 - "Grace," "Midnight Journey," "Proud American Soldier and "Passing"
Volume 8 Issue 2 - "L'envoi" (poetry)
Volume 8 Issue 3 - "The Dreamer" and "I Am Change" (poetry)
Volume 8 Issue 4 - "Fish On!" and "Rogue Awakening" (poetry)
Volume 9 Issue 1 - "The Talk," "I Am the Mountain" (poetry)
Volume 9 Issue 2 - "Rogue River Reflections"  and "River Guides" (poetry)
Volume 9 Issue 3 - "The Boys and I" and "For the Birds" (poetry)
Volume 9 Issue 4 - "The Ritual" and "Would I?" (poetry)
Volume 10 Issue 1 - "My First Loggin' Job" (personal experience/non-fiction)
Volume 10 Issue 2 - "A Chuckle from Hoss" by Pat Edwards; "Handsawed and Weathered"
and "
Terrible City" (poetry)
Volume 10 Issue 3 - "Spring Has Sprung" (poetry)
Volume 11 Issue 1 - "Peace" (poetry)
Volume 11 Issue 2 - "My Time in Paradise" (book review of his book by Pat Edwards); "The
Logger" (poetry)

Groundwaters 2015: An Anthology: "Oregon's Wild and Scenic Rogue River" (non-fiction) -
page 60; "Atonement" and "Sunny Sunday Zoo" (poetry) - page 126 & 127
Groundwaters 2016: An Anthology: "New Don't Last for Long" (poetry/refection) - page
26; "Same Old Stars" (poetry/reflection) - page 72; "No Strings Attached" (poetry/profiles
and tributes) - page118
Groundwaters 2017: An Anthology: "Fall” (Poetry/Seasons) - page 106; "Ice Capades"
(Non-fiction/Whimsy) - page 34; "Osprey" (Poetry/Nature) - page 112
Groundwaters 2018: An Anthology: "Daddy's Money" (Poetry/Life's Lessons) - page 87;
"Cap'n's Orders" (Poetry/Life's Lessons) - page 141
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