To Share The Woods

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So exciting to share the woods, turn a lonely trail into a romantic one, have raspberry white chocolate pancakes instead of a cliff bar for breakfast, or to wake up in a tent beside hot coals, so exciting to share the woods, to loaf and be idle, together.

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Greeley Ponds Ski Trail, WMNF

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Before Leaving For The Greeley’s

 

soon I will know who I am

soon I will crunch through snow

measure myself in the distance behind me sinking

boot and breath into the spine of who

soon I will discover was my former self

lost like the river frozen beneath

yet becoming

becoming roads

that lead to languages I have never dreamed

roads that are themselves bridges that betray

neither what they conceal or where they lead

bridges that trestle two inconceivable sources

just as it carries me off

so do I

carry it along

the two parallel boulevards

that I try to lose myself in

try to lose me

so, it is my choice to sleep there

nothing makes a place more real

as though snoring and waking

on the banks of diverging selves might

keep my knuckles from grinding

across the surface of myself

just as the river files the underbelly of ice

and the ice chisels the trail around it

I too intend to hack out the horror

that might one day be

with a low grit

and a bold boot

me

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a beautiful way to travel by water

after so much watching, so much complaining , not dipping my hands. her endless falling, folding over herself, her lanky legs and murmurs overpowered me.

never have I seen water so calm so sarcastic. her sly sneer looking down at me. winter keeping her crooked blue waistline from me, her moods shy and mercurial. never have I climbed her sharp shoulders or brushed cold cheeks and never would I have thought ice climbing would be such a beautiful way to travel by water



Strung Between One Season And The Next

we wait on the embankment

in front of tombstones of trees

waiting for the siege of winter

watching the shadows of lanky birches

scar the burnt mountainsides

and the creek cough it’s weak trickle

the footsteps of wind emerging from every corner

Januarys use to be more fertile

use to drop its dress over the

rusted ironwork of branches

by now

Mt Tecumseh would lower it’s staircase to our

two conspiratorial hammocks

strung between two seasons

two falling birds and two twin leashed suns

when finally the library above pushed its books from its shelves

released its white roosters

we pressed on ahead

cut the virgin day in two

composed the most marvelous living music

of ski against snow

crunch against slide

and finally when flanked by night and temperature

a fire rose from the snow

warming a pouch of wine

and toes gnawed on by cold

we retreated to the swing of a hammock

dangling from one season to the next

the chandelier of snow above us mounting

Under The Burn of Going Without


All year long my skin whitened under the burn of going without. -No travel in the most beautiful and aesthetic vehicle I know -no slap of wave against it’s hull -no satin surface to carve with the wood of paddle -no taste of that freedom only a river or lake affords -only obligations and responsibilities ate at any true sense of that freedom

until i went alone

the big boisterous sky ahead

under a hot mid-October sun

on a rocky outcropping

in a Thermarest with

a beer

and a smoke

above the lip of Lake Umbagog

my skin ripening

my legs crossed

the wave against rock

discussing their fears

of the weakening economy

the ignited hills above

gesturing towards the south

its orange airline traffic lights waving

the lone kayak passing by

complimenting the earth on her choice of weather

the tandem canoe in the distance clearly loafing in the sun

the bow adrift in no direction

the sequence skirt of the lake’s surface

showing off her goods

and my eyes when closed

were starry against the bright red

of that smoldering day

hot enough for a swim

“Had I come with anyone else… it would be about spending time with them. However valuable that time might be , tonight I am spending time with MYSELF.
Jeez, I wonder if the company will suck?!

https://crookedblueline.com/2011/11/01/903/

“Packing my dry bag, sitting in a broken down camp, gives me anxious uncertainty. Not about the wind or the paddle but about what I am returning to. Theres so much friction in the gears of days, I need to simplify the design. The fewer working parts, the less there is to go wrong.”

https://crookedblueline.com/2011/11/01/892/

https://crookedblueline.com/2011/11/01/888/

“Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through and everything they gave their lives to, and every song they created, and every poem that they laid down flows down to me – and if I take the time to ask, and if I take the time to see, and if I take the time to reach out, I can build that bridge between my world and theirs. I can reach down into that river and take out what I need to get through this world”

https://crookedblueline.com/2011/11/01/886/

Going Solo