Indian Hills Lake
An unfamiliar lake down a familiar road
I found myself with family
feeding a fire with my brother-in-law
while I chatted with my sister
about parenthood, brotherhood.
Later, alone, I listen to the leaves
in the trees above my hammock
and wonder about my last days here
The Farm Orchard
Still too hot in the tent
Staring up at the stars
Between the breaks in the trees
Sipping wine and
Wishing my wife were here
But knowing she would hate
To sleep outside
Or inside my little one man tent
On the hard ground
In the morning
I make my oatmeal and coffee
On my portable stove
and enjoy the now chilly air
Before I tear down the tent
And return to civilization.
Backyard Campfire Dharma Bum
When I was a child I had an old
army canteen that I filled with water
and drank from (although I probably should not have)
I had a strong desire to be alone
loneliness had already taken hold
Later, I found the words of Kerouac
The desire to be On the Road
the roaming poet
Sitting in a forest
lying in a tent
late at night
each acorn that hits the ground
startles me awake
and the one solitary nut that crashes into my tent
nearly gave me a heart attack
the next morning
a slight dew across the top of my tent
i look out to the lake in front of me
I come here with the hope that my insecurities will fade with the cell phone signal.
I come here with the hope that I will find enlightenment in the middle of the trees.
It is nearly sundown when I arrive, road weary, tense.
My tent poles won't stay in as I walk to the other side.
My dinner, cooking on the portable stove, topples over, the contents spilling onto the ground.
I've sworn to leave no trace of myself.
I wash away my spills. Erase my stains.
I drive away still no closer to enlightenment. I am still full of insecurities.
However, I look back and know that I have left no trace.
MS River St Park
Lone Pine Campground
In my mind it is 1965
And each picnic table
Is filled with lunch
Fresh off the grill
As mothers of young sons
Try to wrangle them together
to sit at the table
Instead, what I find here
today is that I am the
solitary tent pitched
in the state park
Sweat, dripping off my shoulders
as I wait for a breeze
that also seems to bring
a trio of butterflies
what was remorse for the present
becomes an acceptance of no
and wondering if this is what it would
be like if I were the last man alive