Length / Breadth

We walked from the east forever ago
dragging our belongings in burlap bags

You were with me then
with a smile that stretched as far
as your eyes tended to wander

and I should have known
that you couldn’t stay

When we reached a strong, shallow river
I said I’d take your load
but you swore you couldn’t swim

So you headed south
when I waded in

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Gates of Paradise

I made my way through sand-set grasses
beneath the heat of the high noon sun
falling forward with each soft step

The salt-air harassed my hair and clothes
The rumble of the unstoppable growing louder
I found myself on a short dune-cliff

The sea stretched out immeasurable
rolling softly beneath a nearly cloudless sky
its vista unmarred by passing ships or seabirds

“As cold as it ever was,” I murmured
as I dropped my pack in the yellow stand
climbing down to the beach below

If Time Could Travel Backwards Part 7

All the money in your pocket
for a brand new ’79 Ford truck
with custom ordered everything
with a radio that wails
nearly as loud as the gasoline motor
burning rubber beneath a Carolina moon
You’ve been drinking a little
and so has the man to your left
but you get home safe regardless
and didn’t hurt that truck of yours
as it sits rusting in the driveway
just like it has
For decades
It’s 2017
and you haven’t seen your oldest son in 4 years

a traveler’s treatise

i’ve seen a tiger in denver
caged and discontent–
why in God’s name must i see
one in every city in which i set foot?
will a parade of morose tigers
provide enlightenment?

all our cities
seek to be the same
practicing emulation to perfection

but when we travel
let us cannonball into
the unfamiliar

avoid highways
fill the tires of an old bike
lace up sturdy walking shoes
eat at a restaurant owned by the cook
swim in the nearest river
revel in the flora
seek out the fauna
bathe in the accents of locals
make them your friends
sleep under their roofs

then return
and–without photos–
tell me of your travels