Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meeting the Big Teacher - A Hiking Story

Memory as a boy
Set out for a pre-dawn hike
To my secret trail with secreit wish
To come face to face with the Big Teacher-

Left the house through the backdoor,
Pulled it shut with my right hand
Walked out into wet black
Of the empty pre-dawn streets.

Found the head of the trail,
Crawled left between dark hills-
Left rooftops just then waking.
Pounding pace, sweat wetted.

Left the trail into low brush
Ducked branches and thorns,
Moved faster to the edge point
To a ridge to wait:

Just the whipping sound
Of birds sliced above me-
Mosquitoes found my skin sweet,
Sucking as I stood

Shivered-just a minute, two
For sunrise to burn fire streaks
On two peeks there above me -
I leaned forward to hear.

That day you came to me
In a cold brush to my lower back
In cool nips to my arms outstretched
To the middle of me-

I stood with eyes and ears open
And with my mouth shut.
More than all came through that way
More than all got in.

January 12, 2010


On the bow of the boat I stood
Leaning into the shock of wet cold wind –

Ahead the island grew larger in black,
A recumbent body of a night-sleeping mammal.

Through my nose and into my head I sucked in
Sea spray and wind slaps that watered my eyes.

Smoke from the stack on the boat pumped in an arc
Wind driven behind us toward the dusk glitter of shore.

Structures there lost mass and took shape in lights,
Ahead, the next shore, dark except for a lighthouse.

Captain cut the engines and the boat slid on slick,
Silent as the night began impenetrable

Moving first in the cold thick air
And then in the pit of my bowels –

To the new shore where tomorrow would begin.

January 12, 2010