Fake Lake, Wyoming

standing on the lake edge
beside silver stemmed aspen
foot resting on a mighty driftwood log
arm on knee
waiting for a sunset

no words to describe the beauty
the water a mile or so away
vanished on a summer vacation
ripples retreating unseen
evening a quiet platitude

in the distance a cloud of dust
it hovers above the dried grass
then an old army tanker appearing
a quad bike with dogs circling
working the hundreds of sheep

watching from the sidelines
an unfolding drama growing louder
engines, shouting, bleating, barking
approaching a solitary hut
a regular sundown scene

admiring the shepherds’ work
now over, a fire is lit, dogs fed
they are hard as Idaho hills
viewed across the state border
beyond the lake with no water

there is safety in their numbers
the sheep settle into the night
the dogs listen out for the wolves
inside the tent there is darkness
and time to reflect

waking to the sound of howling
dogs or wolves or coyotes
echoing under a Wyoming moon
these memories will last a lifetime
I’m leaving in the morning

standing on the lake edge
beside silver stemmed aspen
the sun rising through the trees
calling my name across the valley
hearing only silence returned

alone as always

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Two years ago today I camped near this lake which appeared to have disappeared for the summer. Alpine North Loop Campground is on the Wyoming / Idaho border near the town of Alpine. I was on my way up through the Grand Teton National Park to Yellowstone. The lake was actually a reservoir. I watched the sun setting over the mountains as a group of shepherds gathered in their flock of noisy sheep for the night. That’s the dust they kicked up in the middle of the photo. The shepherds drove what looked like an old army tanker and quad bikes and had a hut which they returned to. I sat alone and watched the unfolding drama. One of the best camps on my trip. Travel at its most rewarding. Wyoming is beautiful. My spiritual home.

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tellurian

I have watched
as you trampled growing seeds
and poured scorn on these summer days
I have watched
as your shadow grew and cast a darkness
like a deepening sorrow over beauty
I have watched
as you laughed in the face of happiness
with a heinous grin of self-satisfaction
I have watched
as you tried to destroy all that you created
or claimed to have loved in the name of what?
I have watched
as many have cried and I am not sure why
such bitterness fills your heart
I have watched
as my wrists have bled the last vestiges
of hope and forgiveness
I have watched
but I can watch no more as the sun sets
on this last earthly hour

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/

spellbound

we sat out on the decking
watched the sun a setting
beyond the line of trees
that marked the boundaries

between our here and yonder

your little patch of Virginia
with trailing bougainvillea
the cicadas sang in millions
and firefly vaudevillians

flashed lights for our wonder

I stayed for just one night
the mosquitoes sure did bite
but your heritage tomatoes
lasted way past hot Key Largo

just like the spell that I was under

IMG_20160801_103936_1

these ‘things’

I place these ‘things’ within me
not for any healthy purpose you understand
and mostly unintentionally
but in they go to find a way
to make a home in some dark nook
or cavernous cranny

stay as mini-migraines why not
or boiling lava lakes within my gut
yes it’s up to me to sort them out
to shout them down and diminish
their potential to wreak havoc
but it doesn’t always work that way

as I am sure you are well aware

once, when I was walking along a remote roadside
I glimpsed a wild animal hide behind a rock
it knew that I knew that each of us were waiting
for the other to move first
yet somehow that creature melted away in the heat
and came to rest within me

and further into my journey
I came across the remains of an eagle
its feathers magnificently spread across the tarmac
a discarded headdress from a fallen hero
once galloped off into a desert sunset
brave and fearless

unlike myself you understand

still storing all these ‘things’ after all these years
souvenirs and postcards from the past
red lipstick kisses on green envelopes
portraits of the poet as a young man
miniatures of finely painted thoughts
in foreign climes

there is an end to this tiresome conversation
as the wind blows through open corridors
I take the hand of an imaginary friend
and we walk barefoot across sand dunes
each step is a word left unspoken
each word left unspoken is peace at last

Severn Bridge

so this is where it all changes
where salt water turns to fresh
balanced between two worlds
adrift on the flooding tide
holding on to a raft of indecisions
to go back or move on?
and wondering how it must feel
jumping from a tall bridge
hitting hard water

they say it’s the fall that kills
not the drowning

like that funny feeling as a child
standing on a cliff in Cornwall
feeling pulled towards the edge
father grabbed me and shouted
how could you be so stupid girl?
the family holidays, the yellow dress
sunny summers all in the past now
a tangled overgrown mess
oblique and rewinding

it should never have ended here
we were meant to drive into the sunset

PicMonkey Collage

(bridges and cliffs are notorious suicide spots)

our ancestral sunrise

golden rays of sunlight fill our eyes
every newborn sunrise from the dawn of time
captured in the blinking flick of a lens
time immemorial.     shuttershocked.
a video framed evolutionary existence
encapsulated in this blood beat gaze
primordial.     prehistorized.     passing.

a journey back and a glance forward
every stillborn sunrise from the dawn of time
eroded by the wash of infant tears
blushed naked fear.     photosnapped.
a moving mastery of previous lives
ancestors suspended in a torsioned vacuum
floating.     familiar.     future famished.

place your hand in mine and feel the warmth
every burning sunrise from the dawn of time
branded in the dna of chromosomed memories
double helixed.     magnetic resonanced.
an x-rayed nuclearoid double vision
twisted on a tendon thread of apprehension
spectre sacrificed.     ghostly galleried.

we move onward each day never knowing why
every clouded sunrise from the dawn of time
masked in the blinded misunderstandings of man
war torn.      bastard birthed.     heartbroken.
what lies beyond our sunlit eyes?
what golden rays fill our brilliant minds?
eternally everlasting.     understanding nothing.

ancestral sunrise

(sometimes I wake up with a line in my head repeating over and over and then another and another and I have no idea where each line will take me but I have to jump out of bed and crank up the lappy and take the journey if only to find out where and why and whatever. It doesn’t matter that it makes no sense at all or will never change the world one iota or even be widely read. A friend recently told me: appreciate what you do with this mangled stepchild we all dub poetry. Ha! I love his words and mind and inspired whackery. My cursor arrowed finger hovers over the publish button afraid to let this one go. Click. Gone. Published:)