|Books Published For Others by Groundwaters Publishing
|Michael "Hoss" Barker is a retired Oregon logger,
Alaska timber tramp, bison rancher and ex-Marine-turned-poet. For six
years, he worked in the wild and scenic section of Rogue River wilderness
in Oregon at Paradise Lodge as a handyman and caretaker.
He wrote four books there during the solitude of the long, wet and wild
winters. Hoss would stay upriver for 3-4 weeks at a time and then go home
to Eugene, Oregon, to be with his wife, Kris, for a week. After two or three
days, he was ready to head back up the canyon to Paradise and away
from “The World.”
My Time in Paradise
By Michael J. "Hoss" Barker (2014) - 378 pages
Hoss Barker may be a self-proclaimed redneck who spent his younger adult years working
in the rough and tumble logging industry in the backwoods of Oregon, but he is also a poet
in the truest sense of the word. Hoss’ poetry is scattered throughout this book and when he
dons his poet’s hat, the words flow from his heart and soul. His poetry speaks of his deep
love and respect for Mother Nature’s creations, whether they be the rivers, trees and
mountains or the many and varied types of wildlife that he enjoyed while spending six years
at the Paradise Lodge in the wild and scenic section of the Rogue River — Zane Grey
Hoss took the job at Paradise so that he could write his poetry while communing with Mother
Nature and all of her wonders. While there, he published three books of poetry and prose.
“My Time in Paradise” is Hoss’ story of those six years spent in the wilderness that he
loved. There was little time during the tourist season when he could write, so most of it was
done in the solitude of borrowed cabins during the long, wet and wild winters on the Rogue.
One of the main parts of his job at the lodge during tourist season was overseeing the work
of the temporary crew members that “The Boss” brought upriver to work each spring and
summer. With much humor and a bit more exasperation, Hoss tells of the difficulties and
adventures that were presented to him as he wrangled his “herd of Meatheads.” He
struggled to learn to be a little more tolerant, but it was not easy for a former Marine and
logger who was used to giving an honest day’s hard work for his pay… who had a work
ethic that would not tolerate laziness or carelessness. There was no such thing as “political
correctness” in the woods where lives — your own and others’ — were on the line. Either
you did the job well or you “hiked er.” In the process, however, after dozens of “sensitivity
lectures” from The Boss and The Boss Lady, he began to realize that maybe, in truth, he
was the biggest Meathead of them all.
The Ballads of Lewis and Clark
By Michael J. "Hoss" Barker (2013) - 156 pages
Two hundred years ago, a group of hardy frontiersmen set out from St. Louis, Missouri, and
headed west under orders from President Thomas Jefferson to find the Northwest Passage
and open up the newly-acquired Louisiana Purchase Territory. The adventure is still
celebrated with all the zeal as it was in the days of yore.
Come along on the trip with Oregon wilderness poet and retired logger, Michael J. "Hoss"
Barker, and partake of the festivities from the comfort of your own easy chair.
Coming Soon! the revisions of...
Out of Oregon: Logging, Lies and Poetry
Originally published in 2003, this is a major revision and
should be available in the Fall 2016.
Tin Cups & Horseshoes: Cowboy
Poetry From the Heart
Originally published in 2008, the revision should
be available in early 2017