We drove for 12 hours
trying to catch the tail end
of the goddamned thing,
walked salt flats and rolling grass hills
looking for it
-everything dried out and parched
and it’s not even
You can smell the coming fires
in a warm, straw-like scent
hanging on the breeze
and we all talk, only half-joking,
of giving up and just hitting the road
When the tires come to a halt
on another gravel turnout
and we stagger out
the cows look up slowly
from behind heat waves and wire fences
and it seems they know that the cows know
that they, too, may have little choice,
and that the will of God cannot be accounted for:
You get what you get
and you don’t throw a fit.
I have to wonder if our children were born
as melancholy as she and I
or if we did this to them
as I stand back watching and find the pair drawn
to oil seeps and broken glass on the desert floor,
or staring into the light of the sun
struggling through a coastal fog
and meeting it all with sighs and a far off look
that seems to penetrate a future I cannot know.
They are content, just like us, to drive and think
and revel in places where we’re strangers
and people let us know it,
feeling outside of it all.
(perhaps to make us feel that much closer)
We drove for twelve hours
until we caught it again, if only for a day
sitting separate from the blur of the world,
safe behind the window glass
-singing, wondering, being together
knowing these actions, conversations, memories
are the only solid footing we have.
Photo Credits: My Son
by twilight demons-
rage and prayers
–prayers for the Angel of Sleep
to stave off another morning
of burning eyes
of ragged-toothed anxiety
beneath the ribs.
it’s not so bad
and shouldn’t feel so bad
I’m just so tired.
Seeking refuge by day
I have found
that hungry ghosts
cannot cross streams
and bare feet
in gravel and water
serve as protection
against a quivering heart.
Standing in a waterfall
I ask forgiveness.
Under an outcropping
of desert shade-
Ask on behalf of all beings,
ask it of salamander, cottonwood
frog, and rust-bellied towhee.
I ask forgiveness
and swear I’ll never
take it for granted
Lingering words from canyon wanderings. On a side note, I am quite pleased I can say that I have perfected cowboy coffee.
And then there is the Cycle of Things:
Seeing my son, so much older now
with The Burden in his eyes
and knowing all bets are off
as I’m not certain
I could save him
from the momentum
if I tried.
Confirming the level
of wine in my bottle
( 1/3 )
I deduce I ought
put another log
on the fire.
(for my wife in a dream)
I see you stuck in a mire
and I can only scream
off from a distance
that you’re beautiful
and should be free
and then hope
it will be enough.
a pitted iron stovepipe
into the stars
snoring in the tent now
on the verge
of being set free.
I prefer pencil
as I know
when I’m running out.
I’ve been spending some time here. No traffic, no parking issues, no outrageous fees.
I’m working off of videos from David Garrigues’ Ashtanga Primary Series; it seems to be what I need. So many nagging injuries and imbalances to heal, I think taking it slower and focusing on yoga, diet, surfing, and walking is in order for a while.
I just finished a pyramid inner to fit the MLD Solomid. It’s a light, very robust little shelter, but the lack of an inner has left me limited in a few applications, namely during heavy rain and bug season. This inner should help with splash, as well as keep gear contained and my long-sized sleeping bag from rubbing the foot.
Ticks have been getting a little worse around here; this is more comfortable than a bivy and will likely replace cowboy camping in tick-infested areas. It’ll also make the Solomid a little more comfortable during High Sierra Mosquito season.
As long as you don’t look too closely at my seams…! As the largest piece of gear I’ve sewn, I’m learning the hard way that long seams and slippery materials are a nightmare; much harder than sewing packs. The next one would likely be far more well crafted, but it works fine.
Specs/materials: 1.1 silpoly (4000PU) floor, .67 netting body, #3 YKK zipper (all from Ripstop by the Roll). Cut carbon 400 arrow shafts as corner struts. Total weight: 9.5 oz.. Dimensions are taken roughly from the MLD Pyramid Innernet (Solomid Size). Total cost: $45.
Solomid, inner, stakes, a small polycryo groundsheet ,and stuffsack weigh in at 28 ounces total.
I meet a lot of people who’s worst nightmare is being stuck deep in the woods alone at night. I slept better than I have in weeks.
Once upon a time I got out more often for overnights than most people I knew. Morning birdsong and coffee in the rain tell me that it’s high time to get back to work. My thesis nearly done and behind me, there now lies more important business to attend to- canyons and streams to be inventoried, desert washes requiring contemplation.
I was going to pack a journal. And my flute. Or a book. And possibly implements for tea.
I left it all at home.
My better mind reminded me of the importance of making space for nothing. Allowing time to let thoughts rise and fall, unclinging and unhindered. Not doing.
I have to confess that the world at large is moving far too fast for me, completely at odds with the stillness that I crave. I’m increasingly feeling like a stranger in a strange land.
Seeing an owl in flight brought me home. An hour of streamside sitting and the illusory city-self begins to slough off like an old skin. Pink sunlight on the peaks above and a cold wind snaking through the canyon brought me home.
Grasp the feeling. Protect it. Nurse it as if it were a tiny ember. Carry it in cupped hands through the coming days of traffic and crowds and noise until it can be brought back to life somewhere quiet and wild.