journey

imagine an empty highway
now tell me from which exit should I leave
am I heading out into the burning desert
where the Joshua trees wait with welcoming arms
or am I heading towards the coast
where the pelicans fly in ragged lines

imagine an empty back road
now tell me where I should pull over and pause
am I looking out into a fiery wilderness
where the light dazzles and dances before my eyes
or am I smelling the salty ocean breeze
where the dolphins swim in family pods

imagine an empty dirt track
now tell me if my rental car will make that bend
am I climbing to gain a higher perspective
to witness the making of all this splendour
or am I driving between secluded sand dunes
to find myself on some long forgotten beach

imagine an empty hiking trail
now tell me should I proceed on foot
am I here to meet you on the other side
where the daytime turns to oily night
or am I swimming out to find you somewhere
under the waves and starlit depths

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The Postcard Poet

I recently started a little side project using my travel and hiking photos. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter and occasionally here. Links below. Hope you like:

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Twitter: @ThePostcardPoet

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/postcardpoet/

Summit

I am tired of being angry with this world
of walking up mountains that landslide beneath my feet
dodging boulders that come tumbling across my path

I want to reach some sort of summit and stay there
hold my head up high to the sun and enjoy the view
happy in the knowledge I have found freedom

at last.

this

the journey had been long and wearisome but uneventful
despite his illness
the black cab taxi ride to the airport
the flight across the unseen Atlantic above the clouds
where looking down he swore he saw angels waving

coming in to land and taking off again
transferring from one side of the continent to the other
well almost
the hire car and motels and people
the prescription drugs that kept him going

the roads narrowed and became less inhabited
the scattering of local tribal dwellings petered out
no more tarmac only dust
he drove as far as his Chevrolet Spark would take him
until the front left wheel wedged in a rut

he hiked the rest
knew where he was heading
for he had been here some years before
had recced the terrain and its possibilities
before the illness came

and there it was the cave on the hill
the gaping mouth begging for sustenance
in this dry and parched sonofabitch badland
where the desert-thorn drew blood from his passing hand
and the crows cawed, rattled and clicked

like I’m in a Western  movie he thought
stumbling into an ambush in a rocky ravine
he stopped by a silty stream and listened to the echoes
they were whispers of wind, dust, water and spirits
helloo he cried

helloo came the reply
but there was no-one there
his strength was almost spent
his race almost run
must make the cave he said outloud

must make the cave
and when finally he slumped inside its jaws
a great weight was lifted from his shoulders
no  more pills or food or worry
just memories and his fate with the birds

this was the way to meet one’s maker
wherever and with whomever that might be
the journey would be swift and serene
the sound of footsteps approaching
her hand forever holding his

this dream of death
this deathly reality
this wish
this wish
this

Currently Reading: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

I’ve decided to move my ‘Currently Reading’ posts here to my main blog page to make it easier to leave comments and interact with you lovely people. Life is currently busy and I find I have too little time, or am I not using my time wisely? When the sun shines it’s difficult not to be outside and this past month has been unseasonably dry in SW Wales. The earth in the vegetable beds looks dusty and the asparagus which held so much promise of abundant deliciousness has only partially fulfilled its potential. Ah well, what will be etc.

So my ‘Currently Reading’ is actually a ‘Just Read’. I have to own up and confess but it’s worth stepping back a week to bring you up to date. ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer is the story of lone wanderer Chris MacCandless who attempted to fulfil his dream of living in the wilds of Alaska in 1992. Sadly the adventure ended in starvation and death four months later but the author has taken enormous trouble to dispel some of the myths and untruths about MacCandless’s last days.

Krakauer intersperses the narrative with his own solo Alaskan climbing expeditions which in themselves are useful comparisons to MacCandless’s experiences and also cracking good tales of bravery and endurance. Some might say these personal touches are padding in what would otherwise by a rather short book but for me they made the whole complete.

Have you seen the 2007 movie? I have not, but it’s on the ‘To Watch’ list. Or have you visited Bus 142? If ever there was a destination worth trekking to.

I was inspired to write a poem during the reading of this book but it was also based on a hike I made last year to The Channels in Virginia, USA. You can read ‘Tracks’ on my Imagined America blog:

https://imaginedamerica.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/tracks/

Here’s another poem by Ellie22 directly inspired by the book:

https://www.writeoutloud.net/public/blogentry.php?blogentryid=59878