Where Does The Tumbleweed Roll?

 

 

macro photography of green grass
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WHERE DOES THE TUMBLEWEED ROLL

 

Where does the tumbleweed roll.

Does it follow the song

Of a long lost crow?

Does it amble through alleys

Venture the valleys

Wander and dither

Or float with the river?

Where does the tumbleweed roll.

 

I followed it once

On a sun kissed day

It rolled through a field

It rolled where it may

It rolled over a hill

Then it rolled away

 

Some things in life we just can’t see

Just let it roll, just let it free

Someday when the west wind blows

I have faith it will roll back to me.

05282018.  All rights reserved.

 

The Lighthouse Keeper. #poetry

 

gray scale photography of lighthouse
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Wind drunk waves engulf and spill
Driftwood crashes, seagulls shrill

Lightning flares the charcoal sky
The captain begs the question why

Moonlight and a vessel at sea
No soul can hear his fading plea

He grasps the trembling wheel
One last voyage, fate is sealed

The ocean’s full of unmarked graves
Of seamen lost to violent waves

He eyes a spark of rhythmic light,
A lighthouse guards the Captain’s plight!

Through the watchman’s hole of glass
She waits for sinking ships to pass

But the warden of the radiant light
Is the one in need of rescue at night

Countless times, she climbs the tower
Through summer squalls, the midnight hour

The captain eyes her empty gaze
Through the fog and stormy haze

He steers his sinking ship ashore
To ease burden, she so freely bore

He climbs the windy lighthouse stairs
As the moon ignites her auburn hair

She turns to see the Captain’s face
And collapses into his embrace

Vietnam Sky

 

black airplane in the sky
Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

Have you ever had a moment of time, frozen in your memory like a photograph?  When faced with two choices, you made a split second decision….and your life forever changed.  Maybe if you would have left the house minutes later, everything would be different.

Vietnam Sky is a soft cry for freedom, a fictional poem of remorse and redemption.   Freedom from the guilt that follows decisions.  Freedom from the vibration of repetitive thoughts that echo like thunder on a stormy night.  Freedom to start life anew in the aftermath of tragedy.

The poem is about a man in the Navy who flies a Navy Skyhawk in formation with two friends, Joey and Mac.  They have a mission to carry through…bombing bridges along the shoreline of the South China Sea.  When the enemy attacks with surface to air missiles, the three comrades suffer different fates.

If only we had one chance to in life to do things differently.   One pass, where we could return to a photograph in our own minds and somehow change the result.  But we can’t.  Life isn’t like that.  We are stuck with the consequences and forced to live the day to repercussions of the sometimes cruel combination of choice and chance.

Vietnam Sky

T’was many years ago
In a warzone by the sea
Three pilots in formation flew:
Mac, Joey, and me

The Vietnam Sky was painted
In hues of orange and grey;
The scent of smoke and sea water
Infused the summer day

Three Navy Skyhawks ascended,
We climbed through rival haze;
Then dove a daring plunge
Through a trail of heaven’s rays

An enemy plane perched and preyed
Near the warzone by the sea;
Missiles aimed at rising aircrafts
Flown by Mac, Joey, and Me

My path diverged to higher sky;
I hid in the clouds from harm;
The tender grace of Angels
Embraced my plane inside their arms

My brothers bravely bolted
From the surface to air attack;
Smoke and metal filled the cockpits,
Igniting the planes of Joey and Mac

The salty water swallowed
Two soldiers that summer day;
Angels lowered me to the shorelines
Where I stopped to weep and pray

Spirits embalmed the air crafts,
Submerged in the brine of death;
Pulse by pulse, Joey and Mac,
Exhaled their closing breaths

Many nights I softly dream
I return to the South China Sea,
Greeted by phantom pilot planes
And we will forever fly as three

Savor this Sunset, folks, it may be the last one we ever see

“Savor this sunset, folks, it may be the last one we ever see.”

aerial photo of amazon river
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

 

Tom stood in a crowd of strangers at the summit of the bluff overlooking the burning city. The old lumber town buildings stood, shoulder to shoulder. It was as if God poured a bucket of water on the burning city, as the streams of smoke slithered through the amber rays to the darkening sky.

Legs dangling, he sat on the bluff and thought of all the times he felt lost.  A passionless soul bore no purpose.  If only, he could think of a motive to live. But now that he was looking the burning face of death straight on, he was just not sure if he had the fight inside him.

A wrinkled man with a shaky voice limped towards him, cane in hand, and sat next to him.  The two sat together, eyes steadily gazing at the sun setting in the western sky. The sun cast its closing rays upon the clouds, turning them to crimson red, deep purple, and pale orange. Soon, the sunset would be just a memory.

“I’m going back towards the city,” Tom announced.

“To the city? There is no city,” the old man warned with angry eyes.

“Well, I’m not going to die today. Not until I find my purpose.”

Tom secured his backpack slid down the hillside, dodging embers along the way. When he reached the bottom of the hill, his boots began to shake as the ground beneath him vibrated. The shattering screams of a train came closer and closer, then it slowed down. When the smoke cleared, he found himself nose to nose with a train.

He boarded the train and took a seat on a sofa next to the window. Quickly picking up momentum, the train jerked and lurched forward.  Like a reel of old film, he watched as the train glided through the darkening forest. Ash white leaves flew off the trees and fell to dust. The bare branches knocked softly upon the window.

A familiar ache filled his chest, as if he was beginning to breathe in more air than his lungs had capacity for. Panicked, he ran through every car: baggage, dining, cargo, passengers.

The train slowed from a rattle to a rumble, followed by a screeching sound of brakes as it rolled into the station.

The steel door was heavy and rusted shut. Frantically, he kicked it out then ran through the foggy station, searching for signs of life.

Then, he turned his gaze towards the front of the train. The engineer waved and smiled gently. As Tom slowly approached him, he recognized his wrinkly hand upon the lever. It was the old man from on top of the bluff.
*      *      *

The next morning, the amber sun lit up the city. Businessmen walked with their briefcases, store owners turned their signs to open, and cars drove over the steel bridge on their commute to work.

Everyone in town was talking about the homeless poet who died in the coffee house fire the night before. Nobody knew his name. All he had in his battered backpack was a  charred journal. On the last page, he left the words…

The road, the wide-open road
Is my chosen home
The stretching, endless ribbon of black
Is the path in which I roam

If I am lost, do not worry
I have not ventured far
I am seeking all the matters
Under the light of the falling stars

God gave me a compass
When I lost my way
He asked me to find my purpose
So, I wrote this poem today

When evening is upon you,
Remember my closing plea
Savor the sunset, folks,
It may be the last you’ll ever see

In search of the color yellow

 

wheat grains field
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

 

In Search of the Color Yellow

 

When I was young, I lived in the country.  It was a place where gravel roads led to narrow trails that merged into rolling open wheat fields that stretched for miles. 

At fourteen, with an inquisitive mind, I was walking part of the woods I had ventured many times before.  While walking a narrow trail through the field, I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  Yellow sun rays hit a broken window on an abandoned building I hadn’t noticed before.  

As I approached closer, I realized the faded, decrepit, white building was once a church. The building lay dormant, rotting boards upon the ground, and broken glass intermixed with wild flowers and golden rods.  It was beautiful in all it’s brokenness.  I can’t help but wonder how many times I may have passed it on my adventures in the woods, stuck in other thoughts. 

In Search of the Color Yellow is a poem I wrote many years ago. When I think about what in represents, I think about all the things I have searched for in life: happiness, love,  faith, dreams.  I sometimes hate thinking about the amount of time wasted looking for “something out there.”  If I had just opened my eyes and looked, I had passed something beautiful a hundred times before without noticing.  

Life is about perspective and finding the happiness that lies under our feet.  The pursuit of a better life often leads to a grand mirage and disappointment.  Everything we need is already here.  Love your family, with all it’s imperfections. Love your home, with all it’s brokenness.  Love yourself, you are good enough the way you are.  Stop searching, you have everything that matters. 

 

Excerpt:

In Search of the Color Yellow

 

Today I went on a walk

In Search of the Color Yellow

 

Barefoot I tiptoed

Through colorless grass

To a dancing wheat field

Many times, I had passed

 

Yellow golden rods swished  

and swayed with ease

Whispering my secrets

To the summer breeze  

 

I passed a church yard

Where children kneeled to pray

I searched the sky and thought,  

“We just aren’t meant to stay”

 

Today I went on a walk,

And found the color yellow

 

Roller Coaster, Roller Coaster Seaside Town

ferris wheel in city
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As a writer, I am drawn to writing stories and poetry about abandoned structures and architecture.  Have you ever passed a wheat field on a walk and photographed the remnants of a burned down building?  Have you ever walked down a rusty railroad track that leads to nowhere?  Have you ever seen a beach house, wind torn with water-soaked boards washed upon the rocky shoreline?  Perhaps I am drawn to abandoned structures because of the intrigue of their unknown stories. 

Or perhaps, more deeply, abandoned structures are metaphors of life.  How many times have we tirelessly built something beautiful…only for it to be washed away unexpectedly from circumstances beyond our control.  We build beautiful families, marriages, dreams, hopes, plans….only for life’s hurricanes to come in an wash away all the work we put into what we thought was important.  And we are forced to sit in the wreckage …and reassess.  Do we build again or just find beauty in what remains?

Six Flags abandoned theme park in New Orleans, Louisiana closed since Hurricane Katrina struck the state in August 2005. Despite various plans to redevelop the site, it is still an abandoned amusement park.  The rising waters rusted the roller coasters, graffiti covers the ticket booths, and the Ferris Wheel stands immobilized, despite the rickety movements of the carriages when the wind blows.  When the summer moon illuminates the rides, the ghost coaster jutters and jerks down the rusted tracks.  Then the carts of the tilter whirl begin squealing and circling, picking up momentum.  The faint smell of popcorn and cotton candy fill the salty seawater air.  

I often find myself trying to find beauty in the wreckage of what follows life’s tragedies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portals and Secluded Places….

inside the train tunnel

I have always been intrigued by portals.

According to Wikipedia, portals in literature or fiction, are doorways that connect two locations, dimensions, or points in time.

Perhaps one of the most famous literary portals can be found in Lewis Carol’s “Alice in Wonderland.”  A girl falls through a rabbit hole, where she encounters peculiar creatures.

As a writer, when I close out the rest of the world, I am essentially walking through a portal into the fantasy world in which I have created.

If you could go anywhere….where would you travel to?  Below is an excerpt from a poem I wrote entitled, “The Tourists.”  It captures my fantasy of travel and escape.  I often daydream of all the places I could go to if I only had a portal…..

 

Excerpt from “The Tourists”

Meet me in a cliff side village in Athens, Greece
Nibbling on green olives, bread, and feta cheese
Let us slowly drink white wine from a king-sized chalice
Let us explore as lost tourists through a Grecian Palace

Meet me on a city park bench in Tokyo, Japan
Holding butterfly parasols of yellow and tan
Let us drink from golden tea cups, a sweet berry wine
Let us wander through jeweled shrines and temples divine

Meet me in a feudal castle in London, England
Nestled in the dense woods, seven towers proudly stand
Let us drink from green goblets, a royal red Champaign
Let us explore mysteries the fortress walls contain

Meet me in Boothbay Harbor, off the Gulf of Maine
While sitting on a fishing pier, clouds of lurking rain
Let us eat lobster and drink amber bottles of beer
Let us watch the diving seagulls ascend then draw near

 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this blog!  I appreciate you….