Last Trip to Oregon, The: Poems in Wake of Red’s Death

The Last Trip to Oregon, by George Payerle

The Last Trip to Oregon

Poems in Wake of Red’s Death

by George Payerle


  • Spring 2002
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-96-8 (0-921870-96-5)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 116 pages
  • Poetry

In these elegiac poems, George Payerle registers the experience of life continuing after the death of his closest friend, the BC poet and historian Charles “Red” Lillard. The poems describe their last trip together to the dry landscape of Central Oregon, circle to Alberta and then turn home to the wetscape of the Shadow Weather Coast.

Throughout are woven meditations on music, particularly the Beethoven quartet Opus 131, in which the triumph of the ordinary (mundane) becomes a portal to the extraordinary (the divine). Memory becomes prayer, with the spirit of person becoming present as the spirit of place.

“‘Friends, lovers, books, places, music — / always there it begins.’ George Payerle’s poems are unabashedly in love with things that matter, and disappear. They’re like ad-lib cairns and graffiti, recording the glory he glimpsed in this face, this creature, that moment. I’m moved by the bittersweet pang of cherishing that resonates here: ‘That the gone be remembered / That there be surprise.'”
— Dennis Lee

“A book of irreducible perceptions, ‘for every one of the many few’ who bring to the page what it takes to read it. It’s full of excellent things.”
— Robert Bringhurst