The creaking door hinge.
My mind begins to swell.
There is no shelter from this.
You were my mountain October
And I was nothing but the sound of May
Fall nights we will remember
But your heart stopped
And the world kept screaming
And my eyes kept blinking
In this swallowing scenery.
The stagnant silence blanched white.
Demeter grieved the earth dry
For daffodil Persephone departed.
And I will paint the world in Payne’s Grey.
Gasping to breathe.
Hearing one sound:
The way mountain October
Fell into the sea.
Dry grass clings his mane–the sun lights to fire,
Flaming blue in his eyes. The
Teeth of a white smile, perplexing as a lightning flash–
Nevertheless, the fang glints.
There are things you fear,
Dusty Kit Fox.
Feathers fleck your red fur–flying lights on fire
Your wild feet. But the burn broke
The blister on your heel–
Didn’t it? Forsaken for the sake
Of forsaking disarmament.
When the campfire smoke made him cough
You told him your two-word lie.
Little tears caught in your whiskers
When you cried yourself to sleep that night.
Waking up in a sweat–
You could scream so loud–couldn’t you? But that alarmed yap
Strains your throat taut enough.
And then his tongue could swell into a roar–instead
Walking silent on those terrible mountain paws.
He was given arms to be strong–
He claws up walls.
And you were given ears to listen, sly eyes–
Burrow the best places to hide.
The sun turns Lion to fire–you keep
those trembling flames inside,
Dusty little Fox.
Open wide and your red heart would rend the sky.
There’s a big difference between backpacking and hiking.
Hiking–dayhiking–is essentially sightseeing that gives you a sweat. Great fun, refreshing and perhaps challenging at times–and you go home at the end of the day and have a nice meal and sleep in your bed.
Backpacking, on the other hand, is hiking and camping all rolled into one and then some. You put everything you are going to live on for the next few days or weeks on your back and start trodding a landscape where there is no one.
So as you are in the environment you are walking through, you become a part of it. When you roll out your sleeping bag under the sky, that patch of ground and wild brush becomes your temporary home. All you have is the most essential provisions to live in this place. And you begin to realize that this nature you have stepped into is not under your control, and all it will give you is brutal honesty–the honesty that what you see in this wilderness is what you get, and you must make the best of it in the way you know how.
When you’re backpacking, you realize that mother nature, as beautiful as she is, could kill you whenever she well pleased.
So you let the humility of your situation sink in–because as often as not, the animals and sky and trees are going to let you live (though you still might have freezing feet at night), and we have invented portable water purifying systems. Because you are permitted to live and adventure as you have hoped, gratitude and awe and perhaps respect begins to well up a subtle fondness, and then love, for the place you are in. This is when you begin to understand how something can be beautiful and terrible at the same time.
Hiking is a good way to find adventure. Backpacking will change your life.
Everyone was hours gone
Curved down the mountainside
The winter fog closing the oak trees in
Their voices still ringing in my ears
Their hands not yet forgotten
But because our books have closed
My bags and boxes sit on rough granite
Where I last dragged them
Where my bare feet tread
Cracked because the earth kissed them so often
As the threads have been so fondly torn
To fray this old green couch
Smelling of dirt and translated books and worn shirts
Here I sat with Aristotle
Here I sat with Augustine
Here I sat with you
And all these bones are made of wood
And every stone will tell our stories
Leaving a fullness to this emptiness
Now that the floorboards cease to creak
Unprepared, these realizations will grow in a year
To full-fledged and heavy νόστος
To bend me to sink down with Odysseus
To drench Calypso’s shore with tears
As I remember and try not to forget
The breath of the wind on my neck
Those sighing fingers through my hair
Rushing infinity loops with dancing pine dryads at night
But for now my eyes can barely bear to blink
No one here to make the floorboards smile and creak
No one to hear me drip this stillness sound with Fender guitar
My hair was tied with a buffalo tooth and beads and feathers
His blue and black flannel wrapping my arms
And when I woke up in that buffalo plaid
To see my father’s face in the doorway
Everyone was hours gone
And I suddenly had no idea where was home
Since then I’ve lost the buffalo flannel and him as well
And the tooth rests white in a drawer
But my hair is still tied with beads and feathers
And some nights I look up to the stars
Some voices I hear, while some are written in distance
Some, silent earshot
And some hands are now foreign,
Some reach out and hold my own
But some days I have no idea where is home
Visual Alphabet part 2! So much fun. Hope y’all enjoy :)
(Unicorns are REAL)
Silence the room.
Leaving the door unlocked
to starlight trees
mountain air breeze.
And so I say goodnight
to the explosive world,
over your ribcage.
Sinking down to pause
r e v e r b e r a t i n g
Echo of soul.
So. This is what keeps you sighing.
So. This is what keeps you running.
This — serene storming — life blood —
A force that would crush the mountains.
Kiss them tenderly.
Enfold the deep.
Rhythm of red
dance. Wind shivering
through shadowed branches,
The cadence enchanting.
A new sigh.
Wide awake soul.
This image was taken in Emerald Cove, Bass Lake, filtered in Photoshop. The design was created in Illustrator, using the letters of my name.