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

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Helga’s Glorious Tomatoes

I had dropped off the Skyline Drive
Like a swallowtail from a flower
To drift down and catch up time
From the dizzy heights to Charlottesville

Like a swallowtail from a flower
I dropped away from the Skyline Drive
And drifted downwind to catch up with time
For I had been losing myself in the dizzying heights
Where black bears played hide and seek with tree shadows
And the daily procession of Harleys and vista seekers

Watching swallowtails
Dropping off the skyline
Drifting down to Charlottesville
Catching up with lost time

A year ago –
And then this.

Charlottesville, Virginia, one hour later
I skimmed your city limits
Headed slightly south to Helga’s house
My destination, dinner, bed
Charlottesville, Virginia
A year ago
Your first couchsurfer

And then this
This
Of all things
Not a stone’s throw

I remember the tomatoes you grew
That we harvested – a big tray of whoppers
Heritage varieties you called them
Fat and juicy with VA sun
I was your first couchsurfer
We watched fireflies from the decking
Can’t remember your husband’s name
We became friends

I’d dropped off the Skyline Drive
Been watching swallowtails
Tried capturing them on my camera
Black bears that never appeared
Harleys

You said
Take them to your next host
Mimi and Rob in Edenton, N Carolina
Almost ran out of gas on that stretch
Charlottesville, Virginia to Edenton, N Carolina

Almost exactly one year ago
Helga’s tomatoes
And then this
This

I came back your way
But we didn’t connect
Our paths didn’t cross
You were up at the cabin
Feeding Luca the black bear
By hand

Silly, fearless, generous Helga

I came back your way
Through Kentucky and Virginia
Past confederate flags
America’s slumbering trailer home masses
Stayed in Charlottesville
Worst motel on the whole trip
A brothel
Scary

No Helga’s juicy tomatoes

Drove the whole length of the Skyline
No dropping off this time
No swallowtails either
Just plenty of mist
Ethereal

And then this.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/glorious/

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

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)