Tent Cities

It takes a few minutes to deconstruct
Forget where you’re from
And just live where you are
The wind is blowing the feeling around
Mood music on the air
Everybody’s got their own thing
But it’s commin together
Now it’s time to grow
I’m feelin like
I’ve started the trip
Lots of long hair
People with a piece of pie
In their eye
A good old fashion gathering
About to begin
It’s like a tribe
Come together
For a common cause
“Peanut butters
And chocolates
4 apiece
3 for 10”
“My aunt made umm
And I watched”
“Here’s your change”
The air is wet
With campfire smoke
The drums
In the background
The moon
In full
Washing over the water
A blanket
Of wave and white
It turns from
You can put your house
On the edge
Of town
If it’s the right kind of party
You’re gonna get citied in


Warm In The Cold

Cheer mingled with cheer, the three of us trudge through the powdery snow.  The air black yet warmed by the lights of the cozy mountain inn just ahead.  We day dream and converse and all but skip and click our heals on our merry journey to the store.

We joyfully speak of girls past, present and future.  Our loins scream and ache with stories of what has, and what is to come.  The large dry flakes of snow invigorate us and we dream of the next day, when light again we can sleigh down the mountain side, sharp edges of our finely tuned chariots ripping graceful gashes in the delicate snow.

But for now its time for cheer and merry talk and walk that leads us on our way.  Knowing we are alive because we can see our breath, our youthfulness impales a warm glowing fire into the otherwise sharp chilled air.

Rounding the rising turn, our tiny mountain side town twinkles before us.  Far above the sea in this small side step is nestled a group of strong, some silent, some boisterous mountain people—brought together by some commonality or another to form this tight nit community.

Now no more than a few mere steps away from our destination, we swiftly stroll into the place of exchange.

After exchanging money for goods, we gather out side again to place in our backpacks our prizes to carry home.

We pause in our steps under the stars, and the lightly falling snow, and the street light to share between us one of our individually wrapped cans of mountain nectar.  There may be no sweeter thing than breathing in the spicy aroma of ponderosa pines as you open your mouth to let the fresh bitterness of a Pabst Blue Ribbon wash over your taste buds and down your throat.

Now returning as conquerors, back from the way we have came we come.  Back to our shelter from the storms, our refuge from the night.

On the way home we speak of the girls who await our triumphant return.  The girls who with whispers, and secrets and smiles encompass everything we desire.

We speak of futures with no end in sight, and laugh of tomorrow the same as we laugh of yesterday.


It’s Only What It Is

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-18-Its_Only_What_It_Is.mp3]
I sit on the edge of a wooden stage.
Spread in front of me is a field.
Campfires speckle the ground in patterns that resemble the stars above.
A tap on my shoulder and Brad who sits to my left passes me some thought.
As I inhale the drums that before beat behind me, now surround my environment.
I exhale and pass the thought to my right.
The fires scattered in the field seem distant at times, almost like the stars.
Around them are tents big, and small, maybe planets.
People and lives dance around the fires and tents in the galaxy of the field.
I watch.
I take in.
Not understanding all, but enjoying what I can.
At this point I realize I know nothing.
That everything thus far has been my interpretation of what this experience has been.
The corners of my mouth turn up in content, and I feel my eye brighten.


Innocence lost early

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-017-innocencelostearly.mp3]

Early Easter Morning: Heaven on earth

Search out overflowing Easter basket

Rejoice  in  the  eating  of   all  the  glorious  candy

Find myself in ecstasy

Run really fast

Find my candy is gone

Remember I wasn’t suppose to eat it all at one time

Stomach ache and  it  makes  me cry

Early Easter  Afternoon: Hell on  earth


Next poem for Bill’s class

I sit here.
Im really not here.
I didn’t even bring my book today.
I don’t really care that much.
‘What part of I, makes me significant,’ I think to myself.

Trying to look busy, as if I were taking notes.

“Prudence and honesty,” Matt replies.
Im not sure what he is replying too.

Next question (I caught this one).
Truth is the Judge.
What is the outcome?
Sounds like a good question.
I don’t know the answer.

Maybe I should be paying attention.


Mountains of Life

Stack of orange cones over my shoulder, and I walk across the parking lot.  This morning isn’t much different than any other morning up here, but from corner of my eye as I am placing a cone I see something.  Not something like a certain thing, but just something enough to make me set down the stack of cones and walk to the edge of the lot.

            At the edge, the lot drops maybe seventy feet to a one-lane road, which drops a few hundred feet more into a valley.  The valley spreads into a seemingly endless expanse sprawling from north to south, broken by ridges and peaks that can only have endless ridges and valleys on the other sides just out of sight.  In the distance I see little specks of protruding rock that from here are thirty or so miles away.  I can only imagine standing below them, and noticing how different their similarities must look.

            I feel a sudden cold chill.  It’s as cold as any winter morning up here so far.  Somehow though it seems like more than just a cold chill.

            The sun will be visible at some point in the morning, and I will see it wink and peek up over the range in the distance.  For now I only can only vaguely tell the area that the sun will come up in, hinted to me by the shadows of pink and purple reflecting off of the white snow on the mountain face behind me.

            I feel a tap on my shoulder, and deep down I know it’s not a tap, but a gentle brush of wind across my cheek.  Behind me I hear a whisper, and I know it’s only the voice of the hand that tapped me on the shoulder.  There is no urgency to turn and find out where the whisper came from, and in fact not need at all.  I only listen, and look out, and see the clouds floating in the valley bellow.  “Douglasyou are alive,” is the only thing I hear.  Maybe for the first time, or maybe not, I know it is true.

            So I pick up the cones and drop them one by one in a line.  When I am out of cones I walk back towards the mouth of the lot and notice my friend standing, looking up at the peak, stack of cones over his shoulder.  Even from behind I can tell he is smiling.

            Putting another stack of cones over my shoulder I walk back to the parking lot.  My radio crackles through the cold mountain air….”Doug, bring some cones to the south end of the lot.”


Your Road

Take a look at the road your on.
Is it narrow?
Is it well traveled?

Roads that are less traveled can be bumpy,
so wear your seat belt
and be sure to enjoy the view.

Are there mountains on your road?
Or little hills that look big?

If you are feeling strong
you can make your way even over mountains.

Roads have even been cut through trees.

If the road is winding, some people hug the turns
and some slow down and accelerate smoothly out of them.

If the road has a dead end sign,
it was probably put there by someone who knows.
So if you decide to travel down it
without an intended purpose
don’t be upset
when you get to the end
and have to back track to get to the road
that will lead you home.


Riding Life

At times it looks like a beast
with a long tail
and forward looking eyes.

It snarls
and snorts
and throws flame.

Yet it has beautiful breasts
which I fondle
and suckle
when I am feeling hungry
or needy.

I have a hard time looking it in the eyes at times
knowing I am planted firmly on it’s back
with a plain yet comfortable saddle.

So I ride it.

At times I have jerked the reigns to the left
for no more than to see what will happen
or just to test the edges of the box.

I have to admit
that at times
I’m not always sure whether I should pull in the reigns
or let the beast trot or gallop where it will.