The Keeper of Thoughts

so Bill

I was just wondering

when will you be done

taking your photographs

you were never this long

in the roll of film days

when you had a couple dozen shots

but now there’s no stopping you

 

my mother had always been

just wondering

patiently sat filing her nails

flicking through glossy magazines

Harpers and Queen

Vanity Fair

the breathtaking scenery

had never interested her

 

we’d drive out each weekend

take the Oldsmobile panting up

The Skyline Drive or

Blue Ridge Highway

there were swallowtails

and black bears

if you knew just where to look

and point your toy pistols

 

mother watched

from the passenger seat

window wound down

breeze blowing her mini beehive

the ten most alluring women

in the world

she would read out loud and

how to marry a billionaire Bill

 

poor father was a delivery man

never an ambitious bone

in his weary body

the long hours delivering parcels

exacted a price on his arthritis

but you would not hear him complain

just a few more minutes honey

he would quietly say

 

all those Kodachrome slides

he never showed or looked at them

they sat boxed

gathering dust

like his simple thoughts

over time he feared he would one day lose

our sunny days wandering Big Meadows

with mother in the car wondering

 

the names of our favorite places

still sing in my ears

they echo out from overlooks

call me back each year

to Riprap Trail

Hawksbill Gap

Elkwallow and

Bacon Hollow

 

now I am the keeper of his thoughts

unlocked and free to wander

projected overhead

we watch them on the big screen

there’s me I point

pistols at the ready

and mom smiling and waving

a cripple with withered legs

 

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(apologies for posting this poem twice on the Daily Post one word prompt slot. My other blog is winding down now that I am coming to the end of my travels and I inadvertently added this to that although it does have relevance there too. Managing multiple WordPress blogs from a smartphone is not always without its glitches)

Sand Flies and Tea Tree Oil

I remember your face so well but then
your picture has travelled with me
down through the decades
28th March 1987 – almost thirty years ago
you must be what, forty now?
I don’t even know your name
never took the trouble to write it down
you passed me with your mum and dad
their 4×4 robust compared with my very
unsuitable 400cc Suzuki road bike
not the ideal transport on an undulating
sandy track through Aussie rainforest
four hours to cover six kilometres!
the whole campsite cheered when I appeared
that’s one amazing thing I’ve achieved
although at the time I was scared shitless
as the light faded and my confidence waned
but it was worth it just to find that beach
and the Cherry Venture wreck
sharing food and camp fires
magical moments that stayed with me forever
I wonder how they shaped your life
young boy with the cheeky smile
all covered in sand in your Lufkin hat
do you remember being stung in the sea
and my tea tree oil took away the pain and tears
the sand flies were a menace too
big fat bastards but easily swatted
if you kept your wits about you
and let them settle before thwacking them dead
it all seems such a long time ago
a distant echo on so many waves
a million tides of crashing surf
I hope life turned out well for you?

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(Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. It was virtually unheard of in the UK back in the eighties but is now globally widely used in many products for its antimicrobial properties despite evidence in its favour being low, according to Wikipedia. This poem links back to my previous posts on the The Cherry Venture wreck if you skip around my little Haiku Hiking interlude. Where to next I wonder).

The Tempests of Time

a sparkle of diamonds float upon the ocean waves
each a reminder of lives lost to the tempests of time

the rolling   swelling   ubiquitous current of life
calling and beckoning with weeping siren wails

from the hulks of shipwrecked Viking longboats
multi masted clippers   steely leviathan tankers

yet still we trust her promises of distant shores and
wonder at what might lie beyond her blue horizons

the shimmering   glimmering   wavering frontiers
sun kissed   storm battered   sunset gilded

each flash of light brightens the momentary eye
awareness glimmers in the fractal curve of a glance

snatched seconds break over fatal decisions made as
gaping mouths retch for the last pockets of precious air

a great portent of gushing waters salt brine our tombs
bubbles of hope   molecules of flashing faces on

every sparkling diamond reflecting every perished soul
the memories of mankind captured by the tempests of time.

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(so I am linking on from my previous poem and developing the theme of drowning using the image of the glinting sun on the surface of the sea – each flash of diamond light representing a lost soul).