Diary of a Road Warrior


no. 2 pencil gouging furrows
deeper and deeper traces
meandering silently
under whispers and drones
bump the ridges, follow the curves
pencil on its own
finds no way out
course is set and plotted
over and deeper again
school bell rings
no escape
no. 2 pencil cutting paths
for my life to fall into
same and same and same

Before There Was Sun

rocks grow weary of the wait
snowflakes heard but never seen
light through the scarred glass
burns without heat
darkness throws shadows
on places and traces
each day is a template
each mourn a good-bye
joy in the images
outside time's grip
give up the nightmare
find loss where it's not
brood warmth into ash
know I am
before there was sun

Lost Enroute

I awoke on yet another ordinary seeming day,
showered, dressed, coffeed, toasted, waited, watched,
then left the apartment for work.

On the way to the bus stop I met people I never saw before,
they smiled, each and every, smiled and said,
good morning,
with warmth in their voices.

As I did, my bus arrived, noislessly coming to a halt,
I boarded, dropping my token into the slot
as I have a million times before,
the driver faced me, smiled, and said,
good morning.

I turned to walk towards the rear seat, my seat,
the bus was half-full,
as I made my way, the driver waited,
everyone smiled and said,
good morning.

My head was buzzing strangely, but all was calm and peaceful,
when I caught a stranger's eye on the street
he waved and smiled deeply,
I waved back and stared, following, as the bus drove on.

While looking thus, I felt someone sit down next to me,
I turned abruptly, she was beautiful and serene,
she smiled and said,
good morning,
the bus drove on, it made no sound.

I was about to speak for the first time this day,
but words would not come, hard as I tried,
I smiled, then sheepishly glanced out the window,
all was black,
frightened, I turned to face my fellow travelers,
but the creeking bus was empty, save me and the driver
bent over the wheel.

I awoke on yet another ordinary seeming day,
showered, dressed, coffeed, toasted, waited, watched,
then left the apartment for work.

On the way to the bus stop I met people I'd known for years,
their eyes were empty and desolate,
I said good morning to each, with warmth in my voice,
but no one answered.


smell of rain on hot tar,
nicknacks on the windowsills,
snow, ice, quieting the cold light,
shifting in time

back eddy,
swirling, alone,
memories play fresh,
glaze on surface, wanting

new covering the old,
too quickly,
where does it go?
swept under the tow

refracting through,
quiet tenants of the heart,

Mind Over Matter

narrowmindedly he stood for the truth,
Hui-neng in dirty pants,
his nose was broken in two places
and his lower back was a game of chance,
no chee-chako,
he could only listen;

seeds were planted,
pain pushed in ---
Matter Over Mind;

he let it play
'round and 'round,
he wished he'd done.....,
too late!

step back, alone,
look up,
cold, cold stars;
knowing ---
Mind Over Matter.

Tugs and Pulls

feathery, sweet, fleeting, gentle, brushing;
echoes, songs, tender words,
enwrap me,
don't go away,
soak in,
stay spirit,
joy to be alive,
clarity to heaven,
that was when.....
let me see.....
it's been so long.......
the breath is gone...,
the sweet, the warm
of times bygone.


trail weaving through the trees
dark clouds pushing down
in the mud
floating in the puddles
held fast in the breeze
no dance of death this day
pity them not
they only sleep

Primordial Chowder

sunlight on broken shells,
gentle caresses soothe smooth,
cones of invisibility tease the dead to life,
false start, time to recompense,
false heart, dreams yet unfulfilled,
return, rejoin, whisper and nod,
stir and fizzle,
breathe deep,
begin anew

Social Health: 101

suppress the urge,
the urge to be here:

suppress the Earth,
ignore Its pleading:

suppress acceptance,
constrain the heart:
love on condition,
know uncertainty,
insist on justice

suppress the fear,
lest they see:
alive in secret,
out of synch,
swirling round the rabbit hole

Surface Tension

leaning, pushing, pressing,
spreading, forcing, pushing,
into the darkness,
into the void,
into the other side of emptiness,
leaning, pushing, prodding,
wanting to be there, be there,
in person,
in place,
in time,
to do what?

I don't know.....,
but I will when I get there


friends are few and far between
between a rock and a hard place
place your soul in their trust
trust God to send a guide
guide others to the hallow ground
ground your heel in the heart of evil
evil is as evil does
does Life entice to play?
play is purpose dressed to kill
kill the enemy within
within the mind of pain and sorrow
sorrow not the days gone by
gone by the turns of time
time to let the spirit go
go towards peace

A Day's Work

a niche to grow a heart in
belong to something
revenge the wrongs
time wasted
proud of pain
badge of stain
a day's work

This Is Not A Drill!

This is not a drill!
this is the real thing
This is not a drill!
get it right
This is not a drill!
where are your oppressors?
This is not a drill!
squeeze every moment
This is not a drill!
how many more lives must you live?
This is not a drill!
friends leave forevermore
This is not a drill!
you will only pass this way but once
This is not a drill!
the leaves are falling
This is not a drill!
what are you holding onto?
This is not a drill!
the winds of change
the winds of change
the winds of change
This is not a drill!!!


moonlight through white mud sky
mean-cut mountains aloof
snow sideways in the bare light
ice shimmering rainbows on the riggings
greeting Life one foot at a time
look up!
see the fierce beauty
feel it
be it
a warmth in the wasteland
to live
to do

On Being Dead

Hold the rain
Rage the pain
Bring it to the doorway
Strongarm Life and say:
"I don't need you,
I can survive."
Pick a scapegoat
Brandish irons
Draw a line in the dirt
Make peace with peace
Nothing else...
Hear a robin sing
Watch an eagle plunge
Listen to the Sea,
Feel a child's wonder
To let go...
Accept the drifting shore...
Too much fun
Being dead


cerebral body drags the bell,
Virgil, virgin, equinox,
thrill the seekers,
throw a star;

to dream, to live,
no cadence needed,
tidal rips
chart other courses;

breathe deep the salt,
hold fast the view,
tred the mud...


stabilization leads to change
blades of grass split concrete
diversity --- the horizontal slice
the vertical slice --- innovation
watching, feeling, seeing,
life pass by

"Early Morning on The Ridge of a Snow Covered Mountain
Looking Out Over The Universe"

he lugged his body from room to room,
it had betrayed him once again,
but he would not let it be,
so he lugged it around

at this inauspicious ebb,
survival rebelled,
quite unpredictably and cathartically,
in fact

propelled beyond the edge,
defeating its purpose,
then back again
for another round

at slack tide,
the emotions
the instincts
the muscles
the mind
the will
the soul,

room, space, infinity,
locked away in a single cell

"The Dark At The End Of The Tunnel"
Haze, Fog, White-Out,
Seeing With Other Eyes,
Staring Into The Sun,
"Who Are You?"

Irritation, Frustration, Vacillation,
Confide In Primordial Senses,
Staring Into The Void,
"Who Are You?"

Waiting, Hoping, Believing,
The Moment Comes,
Staring Into Another's Soul,
"Who Are You?"

Isolation, Transformation, Realization,
Day Enfolds The Night,
Staring Into Life,
"Who Are You?"

Hearing, Tasting, Touching,
Push Back The Fear,
Staring Into The End,
The End At The Dark of The Tunnel.


"Money can't buy happiness," the man glibbed;
"Money can't buy brains either," he shot back.

He was fed-up, tired, frustrated, annoyed, disgusted, and a little drunk;
He had been holding back a dam of unsettled, turbulent, molten rage;
Holding back while he busied himself elsewhere,
Rebuilding and redesigning the crumbled remnants of his former world;
In order to occupy his time thus,
He had constructed what he thought was an impervious dam,
A wall to block true feelings and insights from exposure,
He had not been ready;
Uncertain and afraid,
He had let it all just pass over and through;
But no more.

"When you were just an ordinary slob,
You knew nothing more than the ordinary slob;
Now, since you've come into some money,
You imagine you've also realized
Brilliance and Wisdom;
How do ya' figure?"
Anger showed through towards the end of that question;
He couldn't help it,
It really wasn't a question, he knew,
It was an insult, plain and simple.

The arrogance of the other man superceded his caution,
"You're jealous, jealous of my good fortune;
Making money, anyway you can, that's what it's all about;
You're a failure,
You try to hide behind your intellect,
But I know, I know,
You're intimidated, and resentful towards success;
Admit it."

Large, jagged holes began to worm their way through the dam
Like wounds retorn,
Waves of pent-up injustices arched over the cap,
But, he held,
He would not let anger overtake him;
He had thrown the gauntlet down,
He wanted, needed, to humiliate this man for all men,
For all men everywhere and for all time,
For all who had ever had their dreams crushed and broken
By the strutting peacocks of malice and greed.

"Jealous of you!?
A self-important, vacuous, overbearing, degenerate low-life!?"
He caught himself there;
'Low-life' was a mistake;
He didn't want to resort to name-calling;
Character attacks were one thing,
Name-calling refuge,
Unimaginative and desperate;
He tried to collect himself,
But the wall was disintegrating faster than he could shore it up.

The other man smiled slightly
As though he had sensed a weakness;
He moved in to antagonize it further;
"I hear they're hiring down at the factory,
I could recommend you to the owner,
He's a good friend of mine,
He might take you on;
But you'd have to watch that temper of yours,
And no more drinking."

The dam dissolved away like so much air;
For all men, for all time, he thought
As he slowly rose from his chair;
He had wanted to calmly dissect this other man with words;
He had done so to others far more erudite than this fool before him;
But he was also a man of the sea used to taking action
When necessary;
He struggled to contain himself;
He wanted to teach the other humility
With words:
But the other had long ago constructed a dam of his own;
One that secured his delusions;
A wall that would only be reinforced by attack;
He could see this now, clearly.

"Why do you get up?
Is it time to leave?
Do you no longer feel comfortable?
Or is it that you wish to thank me in advance?"

The man smiled;
"Yes," he said;
"I wish to thank you;
I can now see the cramped cell that imprisons you;
It is enough that I leave you there;
Thank you, and good day."

Waitress in Kodiak
[After I returned from 3 months fishing the Aleutians.]

Limber, Sensual, Intense
Chords of Subtle Repose
Passion on the Surface Stayed,
Release, Release, Release,
What? How? When?
Chords of Hair
Spirit Body,
Spirit Mind
Straight and True,
Crystal Fire Burning Deep
Undertow Drawing
Play, Delight, Invigorate
For a Moment,
A Breath,
Non Sequitur
She Leaves me Wanting More...

Hitchhiking at Toc Junction, Alaska

seeds of
sown in
dead meat,
infest the heart,
stirring under
the earth,
wanes in ripples
to stillness once more;
and once more
he is defeated
by his loss of faith.

[Living in the woods outside Quilcene, Washington.]

Oh no, please, not yet,
I'm not ready, I'm really not,
It went too fast, too quick,
I wasn't on the beach one time, not once,
No bikini clad women,
No sand on the floor of my car,
No barefoot walks on the cool grass,
No late nights laughing on the front porch sipping ice-tea,
No long cruises through the country, windows open, singing to some dumb song,
Too busy, too damn busy,
Working, sleeping, working, sleeping,
Now, leaves and seeds, all kinds, all shapes,
Falling, drifting,
Carelessly, without remorse,
Sticking to the wet ground, to the mud,
To my clothes, my hair,
Reminding me lest I forget,
With every noisy rush and wave of wind,
With every twig and branch awkwardly strewn,
Like helpless victims of a car wreck;
Wipers scraping to tempo, resonating in the bones,
Nights chilly and damp,
Forlorn, drag-on,
Days bleary and somber, quiet, too quiet;
It's coming, it's here,
And I'm not ready -

A Real Job, I Guess

Needed to do it,
At the time,
I guess.

Brooding in the woods too long,
Lost contact with the human race,
Seeing them from an angle,
Naked and alone, present only,
Born each moment,
Stepping into characters believed real,
So I needed to do it,
I guess.

Coming, going, moving, touching,
Needed the money,
The mingling,
The r e m e m b r a n c e,
Of what it was like,
Society, relationships, gossip,
Other people's business,
I guess.

Games, acting, feelings, work,
Irritation, laughter, seeing,
Choices made, likes, dislikes,
Come out, assert, care, dare,
How long it's been, how far I went,
Away from them, from Life,
So I had to do it,
I guess.

You see,
Stay was all It left,
Life, I mean,
Nothing left, but stay,
Stay the ground,
Like a rock, like a tree, no -
Like a barnacle on a sunken ship,
Weathering, for its own sake,
So I needed to do this,
I guess.

But the time wore on, and out,
Another birthday gone by, uncelebrated,
Sands of my hourglass, down the drain, faster,
Mind-numbing, soul-draining
- resist,
Vortex of emptiness, blinding my sight,
Back to the dead zone,
Where I began, long ago, long ago.

So I quit,
The real job,
To return to the woods,
To save myself, my soul's life,
Within me,
Only human now, humanized,
Ironic, huh?
I needed to do that,
I guess.


Old injuries, ancient memories,
New realizations, sudden and painful,
Mingle with the cold, wet damp,
The smell of rotting, decaying leaves,
Blown down branches, twigs, death,
Desolation, withdraw to the deep beneath,
Settling in, for the haul, the get-through, the long nights,
Constantly changing,
Yet always the same,
The same, the same,
For the spirit of all,
To remember me.

Retreat Hell!

Wrapped in wool blankets, soft and warm,
Next to the stove, running smooth,
Two candles, one there, one over on the small table,
Enfolded by black and white checkered cloth,
Covered with books, momentoes, familiars,
An old cigar box,
Straw basket filled with papers,
A picture of my sister leaning against a book I've had for 35 years,
In front, a small mahogony box with sliding lid;
Lost in the Tableau,
Surrounded by trees through the windows,
Freight train of a stream roaring steady in the gulley a rock's throw away,
Days drift into nights, drift into days;
More coffee, they'll come, the right thoughts, the ones that don't walk life all over again, again, only different now, because gone, the I-can't-believe-I-did-thats;
The stove, breathing effortlessly, warmth, a bubble of heat in a cold, damp forest,
Time stretches out, when you have time,
Memories like muscles relaxing, thawing, decompressing, from society's call to Immediacy;
Deftly tearing the tissue apart, layer by layer,
To see what's underneath, what's behind, what calls to be shed light;
Nature calls too,
Outside in the woods, crisp and damp,
First skin, then bones, probed, demanded contact, in the here and now, a respite,
Quiet, quiet, then -
A jackhammer carpenter, working nearby, silence,
Through the woods I go, in search, in search,
All is still, not a breeze, not a leaf remains to stir the air,
Hands in pockets, gaze to the dead sticks and twigs and leaves and grass and dirt,
The undertow doth pull me close again
Dark and solid, purpose and demand, wake up, look at me,
To my left and up a bit, not twenty feet, the carpenter,
Red of head, infinitely black in texture and soul,
A foot or more from tail feather to Roman Crest,
All business, no time to shilly-shally,
Springing without wings, leaping up as though down,
Who knocks with such intention, such vigor at my solitude?
Bemused, a glance away at thought's insistence,
Silence, Oh no!
Quickly up, and up, to nothingness,
The Red Head be not, all is bare and worn,
Deep rutted holes to mark his passing,
Worn and rotted, empty of all life, waiting to fall to winter's wind;
Where did you go Red Head?
Dead wood picked clean, time to move on?


Don't Look Away

She made me realize I was, had been,
so very, very lonely,
for so long I didn't even know it.
A soft, gentle air filled my heart.
A lightness, someone to belong to.
Someone who needed me, and I, her.
A caring so profound the touch of her,
from a distance, was all that mattered.

After years of being alone,
suddenly I had a companion,
someone to hang out with and care for.
Four years we lived together,
through the seasons,
the heat and the snow,
just the two of us,
holding one another close.
Our love grew, deepened, spread outward.

But something happened one day, one night.
Something I didn't see coming.
I stopped loving her just that one time,
the wrong time.
Now she's gone, forever.
Killed by an unseen enemy.
An evil I could've prevented.

I stopped caring just that once.
I have no idea why and to this day
have been unable to fathom it.
To see its heartless intention,
its purpose, its reason.
Now she's gone, and I grieve
every moment of every day.
Will it ever end?

"Would you like to watch TV with me?" I asked.
Sitting in the same seat as then, I mouth the words.
And the world cracks into a million pieces
and stops moving.
The air stills.
Silence is the answer.
The sound of her voice no more.