Tag Archives: poetic


Further observations of Oklahoma:
The landscape, geography, topography smoothing out, like two ends of a coil pulled farther and farther apart. Slowly. Mile after mile. The hills longer. Gentler. Not so sharp and jagged, but worn like an old, old saw blade.

Hay baled in bales, each rolled up like a single piece of taffy and placed musically throughout their fields, like the pits in the plates of an antique music box, ticking little teeth to play a silent score. The score of the tractor and the farmer, the flycatcher and kingbird, of the changing seasons, and, once, of the sweat and toil that is still practiced in small pockets, remote areas of the world where the people still rely on milk from their cows to survive the winter, and the hay that they grow sustains them in their mountain villages. It is a music that often isn’t heard, and one need no musical instruments to play it, nor a knowledge of theory or scales to understand it. It is the rhythm of a life lived simply, and it is felt in the blood and in the skin.

The ancient windmill erect and lonely in a field of wheat, it’s blades twisted and broken, no longer spinning freely, exuberantly in the rushing wind, but dangling from its axis like the shadow of a Calder mobile—sad, and delicate, and beautiful—or like Nanantatee’s “poor broken crutch of an arm” in H. Miller’s Tropic of Cancer.

The butterflies, just the size of a quarter, in chalky shades of yellow, blue and brown,
that dance across the highway, some singly, others in pairs—a duet in four dimensions, turning round and round and round each other, swooping up and down in elegant dress, like some Japanese in his-and-hers best kimonos celebrating the new day like it is a new year.

The little beetles with their glinting, hard carapaces that shine like plate armor, skittering across the road, legs moving like a pianists’s fingers playing a prestissimo.

The traffic on the interstate, which parallels route 66, and seems to sail by in the distance like ships on an horizon.

Clouds at the end of the day which look as if they were applied to the sky with a palette knife—a steely, grey-blue smeared onto an aged, slightly yellowed canvas.

Fields of wheat, golden-blonde and pea-green shimmering under the afternoon sun, every stalk leaning in unison with the wind, beautiful like a head of hair, like the Greek gods, like cracked and ancient pottery, like archaeological sites going on and on seemingly forever like the Euphrates and Tigris rivers through Mesopotamia when giants still strode the land.

A sign advertising astronaut Thomas P. Stafford as from Weatherford, OK,
And another sign advertising Garth Brooks as from Yukon.



It is so nice to be in a place.
Simply, to walk
To look at the greenery,
And to
Hear it innnn the winddddd.

To wonder
How it came to be here, and
Why it is shaped so.

To watch
Sun and shadow pitter-patter
In the grass, playing a game:
Each chase the other around.

The birds’ song
Interrupted only by silence.
And that is no interruption at all,
But the space between the sound and dream.

Where am I?
Where is this place?

Here. Only here
The miracle of Being may be observed
And Anywhere may be everywhere.
And within Everywhere is a Somewhere.
And Somewhere may be anywhere.
And within any Where is a Here.


Watching the treetops wave in the wind, through a window, from inside the cafe. They look like anemones rooted to rocks and corals deep in the ocean, their frondsy, tentacular limbs moved by its currents and the hard pull of its waves. A bit like a ballet dancer spinning, dancing, sweeping her way across stage.

The world out there is more alive than anybody knows or suspects or even cares to think. They’re all talking to each other—a soft buzz in between the rustling that is carried by the wind. We are all being watched and there is a note of melancholy in the air. “Who will go down next, and when?” This waving in the wind, the softly wooshing to and fro is the celebration of now, of this moment so alive, but I see some of them with white flags claimed in their branches. They want no more death, no more destruction. “Throw down your arms!,” they say. “We want no more pain! Only peace!,” they say. And they can no more defend themselves, or uproot themselves from their homes, than anyone else grown up surrounded by family. They have no choice but to stay put, rooted in place, pleading for peace, pleading for an end to this senseless destruction. “Please,” they say. “Please.” And they weep in the knowing that it will never end.


Camping at my first church since I was in North Carolina.

Many miles today. Miles through bleak suburbs choked with strip malls, empty parking lots, bad traffic, bad shoulders, familiarity and despair. Miles through farmland; wide, open spaces; countless cows grazing the lush, green pastures that are everywhere speckled with flowers—purple, waxy-yellow, and chalky-white—like a million smiling faces, and, when the wind blows, a million waving hands like those from the friendly drivers who pass me opposite; the wire fences; copses of trees; the grey clouds bunched, bulging, heavy with rain that never falls, stretching on forever all day. Miles, though fewer, through the cityscape of Selma, her streets and buildings saturated in civil rights history; boarded up houses; nice, clean, proud houses with neat landscaped yards; empty buildings; broken windows; no doors; amicableness; amiableness; junk cars; the criss-cross of railroad tracks; the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the blood flowed one day like the river runs beneath it; marvelous architecture; and damn good ribs. I also saw a banner, on it the word HOPE. More and more large towns and small cities I see today are full of hope, and desire change. Call it “the people.” They are the hope. The people are the ones, the only ones, who have the capability to turn around a city’s fortunes, and they must turn it around, because if not, then what does this word, “hope” mean, what is it for, and what does it represent? It is like a false idol which one worships, makes offerings to on every first and third Sunday, and second and fourth Wednesday. It is a place where the people might get together to sprinkle water, light incense, and talk. Talk, talk, talk; and talk is just masturbation. There is a sprinkling of seed, sure, but no fertile ground for it to settle, fertilize and grow. It brings forth no fruit, bears no children. It merely feels pleasant for a short while. It is a drug. And an addictive one at that because it requires a minimum of effort and no commitment. It is a mouth that talks, yet has no voice.

Where there are people there is hope. But where there are people there is, too, complacency.

A bug shimmers under my light, wings and carapace glinting. It flies ever so lightly, so gently, into the mesh door of my tent — bounces away into the dark. God, what magic this world contains. Magic on the minutest scale. It is not necessary that there be large explosions and a shower of sparks, though that is fine too. There is magic right under our noses. The real magic is in the looking.


Dinner. Texting. Red lentils and rice with raisins, tomato, turnip, garlic, and curry powder. Forecasting rain. I would prefer not (always). The most charmingly cheerful birdsong earlier at sundown. Now it’s just distant dogs and the occasional car or truck, and the electric buzz of insects.

I’m camped at a public park in Abbeville, GA. It’s three or four acres, part of which is a little league baseball diamond, another part of which is a playground with maybe an eighth mile walking track around it. The rest is a field that borders a forest, picnic tables clumped together in places like a huddle of ducks in silent observance, or a group of old friends who haven’t seen each other in years.

The grass and dried, fallen leaves I see through my tent screen is unspeakably beautiful. Slender, curving pine needles intertwined and threading through the mat. The leaves themselves are small and slender too—some broken, crippled, others spotted, speckled like an old man’s frail arms. The grass that pokes up through all of those old, brittle, dry, dead things seems generally unhappy about the state of affairs, being as it’s mostly covered over by the old; slightly smothered, held down, but in places it has pierced the mat, the coverlet, the broad arms of the leaves saying, “Down! Down!”

Anyway, today was mostly hills. The last twenty miles I guess were relatively flat in comparison, though. I’m hoping not for a repeat tomorrow.

I mentioned in a previous post staying with Mac in Vidalia, “The Sweet Onion City.” It was a great joy, not only because it was a short day on the bike, and that I was able to catch up my journal outside, in the sun, poolside, but also because I was the guest of a great guy, a generous host, a generous man. Solid, dependable, friendly. It was good.