Translation A>D / D>A


 
I have a question, so I raise my hand.  Because there is no one else around, I put my hand down before I can receive an answer.  But, I did have time to ask the question.  So, from where will the answer to this question come?
 
I look left and see a field. To the right is a forest, but I can’t see very far in, because the trees are in the way. The road that stretches before my tires is gravel, but I don’t have time to slow.  Top down, warm wind blowing through my hair—yeah, whatever…  All the freedom of the open road sandwiched between two backgrounds.
 
Of course screaming does no good, but it feels invigorating to empty the lungs, refill them and press them out again.  Medulla-oblongata parallel with the roof of my mouth.  At least the annoying echo of the noise streaming into my ears and rattling around before piercing the drum lets me know that I can still feel something.  And that thought alone is at least a constellation.
 
When I finally get there, everyone is there.  Not just everyone, but everyone and there mother.  Let me tell you she is one big mother.  She has to be in order to have birthed all of them, and me besides.  Her belly is very round.  She notices me looking at it.  “Everything is circular,” she says.
 
They thanked me, which took a long time, because though they would have liked to speak all at once, I know they secretly didn’t think I could handle it—maybe rightfully so.
 
As I walk towards the podium my heart starts pounding.  My forehead perspires.  My face reddens.  The lights on the stage pour all around me, culminating on my red sweat drenched face.
 
To lighten the mood, someone yells from the crowd, “Show us your tits.”  But I decline.  It would be delightful, although there are much more important things at hand.
 
Many times there is a point in a dream when I realize, that I am, in fact, dreaming.
 
I ask the audience to close their eyes.  “But only if you feel comfortable about it,” I add.  Most of them do.  I ask them to, “imagine that it is them who are dreaming.” “Relax,” I say, wondering whether my nervousness will project out and hinder their ability to effectively relax.  Luckily, at least some of them are trusting.  “Imagine that every time I say, me, it is you that is me.”  Whenever I say I, it is you that is I.  Completely forget about fact that I am a twelve year old black girl, and that you are you, who you are.”
 
Now this one is just for practice…  Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath of enlivening air.  Keep those eyes closed now, no cheating.  Stand up.  Raise your left hand above your head.  Pause.  Now look around.  Pause.  Ok now sit.  And open your eyes.
 
Now we will begin.  Close your eyes, take a deep breath of enlivening air…let it out….stand up…..
 
I have a question, so I raise my hand.  Because there is no one else around, I put my hand down before I can receive an answer.
 

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Somewhere In A Dream


I pulled a small handful of change
From my pocket
A penny said; 1968
 
It brought back memories
Memories of hippies
War protests
Music
Free love
I pictured in my mind—dancing people
With colorful clothes
Head bands
Bellbottoms
Those are my memories of that year
I was nine years from birth that year
 
Memories are funny like that
They’re like a collection
Movies, thoughts, things remembered and made up
Ideas
All that sort of thing
 
So I played a little game
 
A quarter; 1978
 
My father
Laying on his back
Cut off jean shorts
Shirtless
Holding me
Arms length
Under the pits of my chubby arms
He’s bearded
Smiling
Wonder in his eyes
Wonder in mine
 
A penny; 1984
 
Red pants
Kangaroo tennis shoes with a zipper pocket in the side
But I didn’t know how to play tennis
And I could actually use them for sneaking
So I called them sneakers
I guess I was starting to get clever
Mom was gone
A whole family of girls moved in
Dad’s new girlfriend
Her three daughters
Lots of things were changing
I had my own room
My own toys
My own mom
 
1993; penny
 
Middle of high school
Just starting
To be
Doug
Girls
The smell of the locker room
Sports
I lost my virginity that year
 
1994; quarter
 
First real broken heart
Several beater cars
I beat the shit out of those cars
Fell in love again
Leaped from cliffs
Into water
Had to clear the bank
Slapped by small branches
On the way down
Didn’t really believe I could die then
 
1999; penny
 
Lived in a great house
Great friends
Going to school
Marketing
Huge future
Parties
Snowed the first day of Oktoberfest
That was a legendary party
Broke a lot of hearts
 
2000; dime
 
Mountains
Freedom
No debt—except student loans, let them sit
Snowboarding
Oregonpronounced Oregen
If you say it wrong, they know you’re new
Brew Pub #2
Wrote a lot
Winter
Long walks down snowy mountain roads
 
2006; nickel
 
Here I am
Lucy
Gradated; BS
Graduated to a writer
Lots of memories
Debt to my ears
Money
Tomorrow
Adventure
It’s hard sometimes to tell where you’re standing when you look straight down at your feet
 
1967; quarter
 
In the jungle
Young kid
Scarred
Dirty faced
Is that from a dream
Am I making that up
Maybe I saw it in a movie once
Memories are funny like that
 

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A Vision

Standing looking out
I see
 
A light shimmering and glistening
off of the slightly moving lake
 
The light is directed exactly
at me
elongated yellow
waving gently
 
It’s not just aiming right at me
but to the little Mexican kid on my right
and the expecting mother sitting alone on my left
 
It is also directed only at them
 
In fact everyone on the beach has
their own light
 
Sparkling off the lake
making an arrow
between the sun and themselves
 
I hope they look up and see it
to notice that it is theirs
 

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Living Poetry

What an honor it would be
 
When someone said
“Are you a Poet?”
I could say “Yes”
 
A Poet
 
Such a great and wonderful existence
it would be
 
To ponder the days
and travel the world
writing in whim
 
No more no less
 
Barefoot if the need arises
or my favor desires
 
People could ask me “Who are you, what do you do?”
I could say “I am Doug, I live”
 
Days and nights would pass
maybe with a loving woman
and maybe a child or two
to love and teach
 
They could go barefoot
I could share the world with them
 
And if someone asked me “Who are you, what do you do?”
I could say “I am Doug, I am a father”
 
But ah…  If someone were to ask me
“Are you a poet?”
I could smile
and mean it
and say “Yes”
 

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Douglas John Noble

Douglas
Dweller by the dark river
 
John
God’s greatest gift
 
Noble
Virtuous, honorable, true
 
Others call me
Doug
 
I call myself
DUG
 
Who am I
Is this name me
Is my name a representation of what I should be
 
It is a tall order
Even a conflict of interests
 
Would God’s greatest gift
Dwell by the dark river
 
Maybe I should look at the gift as a net
Thrust this net into the
Dark river
Strain the water
Looking for
Virtue, honor and truth
 
God gift me the power to
Strain virtue form darkness
 
I will try to show the truth
 
If I achieve this
I will do honor to
My name
 

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Moment Of

Capture the moment
Capture the smile
Capture the glair
Capture the essence
 
Write it down
Capture it
And you are there
 
Capture the second
The one that would of otherwise faded away
Capture the minute that should be pondered
Passed on
Or passed away
 
Capture the hungry
Capture the love
Capture the down trodden
Capture that one
 
Just that split second
Ummm… that very point of the moment
When it rose above
 

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That Line

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-024-thatline.mp3]
I try to be a saint, I’m a sinner just the same

I’m walkin down that line

I give all my bread away, and ask for it the next time

I’m walkin down that line

I met a girl, she knew me
We got together and set each other free
We wanted it, but it couldn’t be

I’m walkin down that line

Give an inch and take a mile
Would a stab in the back make you smile

Where do you draw the line

Is this an issue of black and white
Ying and it’s relation to yang
Is it clear, or is it a fine line I walk

I’m walkin down that line

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In The Days

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-023-inthedays.mp3]
I’ve seen days that were better
Then again I’ve seen days that were worse
Sometimes life can be down
Feel down right like a curse

Raise your head in the morning to fall asleep at night
Day dream about tomorrow
And what could be
And what might

When I wake up in the morning
I want to know everything is all right
When I wake up in the morning
I want to be
And do
And not fight

All are lives we live in
We do with what we will

And if we would like to make it better
We will have to wish
Then we will have to will

 

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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
Clan
Tribe
Village
Town
City
 
You can put your house
On the edge
Of town
If it’s the right kind of party
You’re gonna get citied in
 
 

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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.

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