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Logan City
Poet Laureate
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Beckwith Violet Murrays Hill April 1 201
Forget Me Not Baxter Ridge April 24 2019
Maguires Primrose Logan Canyon May 6 201

Welcome to A Celebration of Cache Valley Voices, Shanan's Logan City Poet Laureate Project! All the following poems were written by current or former Cache Valley residents and include poems by community members, Utah State University undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. 

If you are a current or former Cache Valley resident and would like to have your poem considered for publication on this site, please e-mail Shanan at  

Yellow Bell Orange Baxter Ridge April 24


by Aaron Timm 

Before the fist opened a mouth

the door was just a door.

After the fight the door screamed,

it’s black mouth waiting for me.

I usually pinch my eyes shut.

Run up the last three stairs,

pass the open mouth


close my door,

which is still just a door.

Today I force myself to face it.

The fist left long sharp teeth

I push my hand inside

feel a splinter fang catch my sleeve

my fist reaches the smooth wood throat.

Pulling back

I leave blood behind.

Aaron Timm started writing and sharing her poetry in 2009. She is married to the locally famous poet Isaac Timm. Aaron is proud to be a member and unofficial secretary for the awesome poetry critique group Union of Table Scraps.  She is a fierce advocate for blind people and a huge believer that all blind people should learn braille. She lives in Logan where she is happily owned by two cats who are named after poets.



 by Isaac Timm

Sometimes even the most tattered ghost

longs to be seen, hoping to haunt more than the

edge of the eye. To be of greater consistency

than a dust-devil, a bleached gate creaking.

I questioned when I allowed this, this slow fade to

phantom. I raged, threw flatware, stacked chairs,

wrote cryptic messages on fogged glass. I

blamed you, for looking through me thought if I

could just bounce an aged beer can down the

rutted road, or whispered “see me,” like a warm

July breeze, that you’d stop mid stride and take

my hand of cobwebs.


But I reduced myself, hungered for something to

fill me as if I were a balloon. I didn’t know I could

grow skin, create red roots of veins, carve my own

bones from stone. And though the whole rebirth

left me scarred, flinching raw skin, I was solid.

Now worth a glance, a nod, but why should I crawl

in your shade, when I now have legs to run.


Intervention, but we don't call it by it's name

by Asher Blakely

We call it, I'm worried about you

It's been three days since I saw you

Eat more than a handful of cashews


We call it, you haven't returned

My several phone calls and I don't

Know if you're even alive out there


We call it, you're cocooned

 in your nest of blankets

And I miss the shape of your face


We call it, famine

Or feast-- you've squirreled 

Away your money and can no longer live


We call it, binge

And purge-- I am so tired

Of always holding your fragility


We call it, I cannot control

You like this, and it makes us

Both more than a little uncomfortable 


We call it, you used to hurt

Me but the wound is still 

weeping and that may never change


We call it, tough love

And you've done nothing

To staunch the bleeding


We call it, you stabbed

Me in the back, but we're pretending

To smile for the cameras anyway


We call it, moving

On because standing

In this hurt isn't progress


We call it, I forgive

You for breaking me open and

Rearranging the beating heart of me


The best of them

 by Aaron Timm 

Born to dust

Knee deep in snow covered


You stood

Swallowed chalky alkaline dust

Shouted at the sky when

Left bloody, again

You walked home

To chaos and


To all the fucking

Shouting silences

You did this

Grew up alone

Made yourself a man

A good fucking man

Who loved with a heart so bruised

It hurt to breathe

You rose out of the desert

Called home

Checked in

Sent condolences

And congratulations


Never receiving any in return

Your family

Wore you like a shadow

Alone you taught yourself

To shine

You are a light in the window

To me

You are a blanket

Of stars

Shutting out the dark.



by Marcy Gross


The last time I saw you

you were gasping for your

last breath

the oxygen tube up your nose

doing no good

your eyes

were black

and sinking in

your mouth


you said nothing

to me as I told you

I love you, good bye

but I know

you really meant to

I know you heard me

yesterday she told you

hang on until Marcy gets

back to say good bye

and you did

20 minutes after

I left your side

you were

pronounced gone

8:02 am I found

out at 8:15 am

didn’t see you again

until almost 9:00 am

uncovered your body

so frail, skin see-through

I could

see your bones

your hips turned

even more

than before

so crippled yet

so at peace

the way you lay

reminds me of

“ancient wing”

a famous fossil

of a bird

his wings spread

as if he were to

take off

just like you

always waiting

to fly

This One is About Moths

by Isaac Timm


fluttering in the hands

like tiny hearts


leaving grey dust

slick on the palms


why do they leave

the protection of night


beating tiny wings

against glass


seeking the bare light bulb

that will burn their legs off


they open their grey hearts

to fire, delicate lace


jumping to red flare—

to be so hungry


for warmth that we’d

destroy ourselves


what can be learned

from their tiny deaths


little hearts— opening

Isaac Timm lives in Logan with his wife fellow poet Aaron Timm. He began writing poetry in 2009. He has shared his poetry at Helicon West, and was a featured reader. Isaac  graduated from Utah State University in 2014; he holds Bachelor’s Degrees in History and English Creative Writing. His poems have been published in The Helicon West 10 year Anthology (2016).  Isaac was born and raised in the Western desert of Utah, which influences many of his poems.

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 by Marcy Gross

The other day

someone put plaster

on her lungs

now it’s beginning to ache

it burns she cries

can’t someone take it off

that girl I don’t know

who she was

opened me up and

smeared that white brittle plaster

all over my lungs

the left one mostly

then she sewed me back up

Why? Why?

Marcy Gross was Shanan Ballam’s sister. She died on July 8, 2023 of complications from Addison’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Marcy was a long-time resident of Cache Valley and she went to Utah State University. She worked as a CNA which is where many of these poems come from. Marcy was fond of tattoos, and the ones she chose to decorate her body told the world who she was. Family was crucial to her. The names of her beloved sons, Jeremiah and Jayden, had prominent places, as did the name of her younger brother Dylan who died in 2013.

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Little Debbie

by Aaron Timm


I used to hide food

not “real” food


I would take the last

Cosmic brownie

from the box

tuck it


salsa, sour cream and butter

I would think about it

all day

in the hot quiet

after school

it would be there


or, not.


Now I hide

a plan


dishes, laundry, feeding the cats

I tuck


not “real” pills

just the thought

crushed in orange juice

bitter on bitter

as I watch

Frank N Furter sing

“I’m going home”

one last time

before I sleep

I hope to dream of the moon

of blue glow on snow

of walking naked

a ghost feeling

no chill


I think about it

all day

it will be there


or not.


by Marcy Gross

Last Thursday

I told the nurse

you were sick


to my usual singing

every morning

I would sing to you

but that day

your eyes remained shut

not the usual

bright eyed

so happy to see me


by Marcy Gross


They took you away

in an ambulance today

the nurse in her panic

told me hurry get her ready

they’re coming

before I knew it

they were there

6 men in uniform

all asking me questions

what’s this? what’s that?

so confused overwhelmed

from the excitement

after my shift

I stood in the parking lot

letting my car warm

sucked down 2 cigarettes

in 5 minutes

and wondered

if I will ever

see you again



by Marcy Gross


My brain is swimming in my skull

I can hear it splashing

Like a fish trying to find oxygen

A light breeze flew over just right

To electrify me from head to toe

The trees

 by Marcy Gross

The trees speak to me at night

I hear them screaming in pain

As they rub against one another

Now I am a tree

Sudden back pain

Shooting pain due to nerve root


What disease do they have that

Makes them scream out when

The cold wind moves

Their limbs

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Death & Dying Along I-15

by Asher Blakely

We chug along the middle lane. Trapped

inside the quiet of a broken radio. He stretches, 

carefully, foot scraping through cans littering the floor 

that I’d meant to clean them before leaving.

His leg aches all the time now, nerve damage 


from a domestic violence incident with his late-father.

The doctors say PT should help, but it doesn't.

So he aches, mostly in silence, because his family

prize that kind of tongue-biting. They believe

     if you can’t see it, it isn’t real

     if you ignore a thing, it never happened

     if you pretend everything is okay, it is fine


even, or especially, when that silence could kill you. 

The road slows to a crawl though it’s barely noon.

No AC, so we crack the windows, letting in the stink of baked 

pavement and diesel along with the dry breeze.


I turn, briefly, to see his grimacing face. He hates

the long drive. He plucks the sticky fabric 

against his chest, and I too feel as though

I am swimming in my own sweat.


“I’m sorry," I say. “Thanks again for coming with me.”

His hand touches my shoulder. I can hear his smile

when he says he was happy to do it. He misses the days

before his body betrayed him. When he could drive himself.

We talk of the places he used to go and the hikes he used to take.


(Death & Dying along I-15 continued)

We talk about the failure of relationships and the fuzzy boundaries 

of our own. We were friends for years before last summer 

when my husband got them both shit-faced and naked 

before we tumbled laughing into bed. 


We talk about his cats. The Athena and Coun that went missing last year

Who he still looks for in every shadow. Set who died in the winter

whose body he kept in a bag in the freezer until the ground grew soft.

TV and Artemis who he cremated and buried beneath his favorite tree,

up the hill at the back of the property his mother

means to sell sometime this year.


He says, “when my time comes, 

I want to be cremated and laid

to rest alongside my babies.”


I am filled with words I cannot say,

so I reach for him. Tangling our fingers 

as the silence stretches between us.

Asher Blakely (he/they) is a polyamorous, trans masculine person living in Utah with his husband of 16 years and their two amazing teenage children. Asher is a confessional style poet, who uses poetry to explore the demons of his past life in the hopes that his words will help others facing the same traumas to not feel so alone. Asher is a self-professed smut addict and reads gay romances to unwind and keep sane.

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