I look down from the roof
over Madison Ave and watch
people enter and emerge from yellow streetlights,
bobbing heads and umbrellas,
taxis speed near and far, the rain
softens the constant chatter and the voice
questioning and answering everything at once.

Through 10 to 20 story buildings I see the
reservoir a few blocks away and the cold dark
reflection of more city lights, the tall tree
shadows scatter with each rain drop
and I wonder the state of mind
of the nature within the city park, seemingly
caught in a vortex shielding the flora and fauna
from the towering skyscrapers and buildings,
the chaos that arises in the evening and after dark.

Where do the ravens hide?

This is not my home, these are not my roots.
Smells, sights and sounds do not illicit any memory or longing for something
else beyond here. I breath deep and slow, let the
scent simmer – nothing.

Even the touch of green leaves in my hand, with closed eyes,
does not momentarily bring me home.

What roots should I plant here? What lies within
to allow the cityscape a lighted path inside?

But I feel a bit at peace and home
as the nooks and crannies beneath the towering apartments
hidden mere blocks away from the BMWs and Bentleys
welcomes with open arms and cold beer.

The red painted steel rail is cold and wet
as I find balance looking over the ledge at the
street below.

Above me the moon struggles to overcome thick, heavy clouds,
a glimmer of light illuminates the water tower and I begin
to feel the attraction to this city always awake
always on the edge.

The corner of 92nd and Madison captured
fragments, scattered pieces, slowly
chipping away at thoughts and emotions
and without taking notice
peace sweeps over me and I look
down each street through the rain
falling harder and with more purpose
and I realize that I do not miss home,
no I do not miss where I flew from – what
I miss is blending and truly living
within something that does not judge.

Lights flicker from wind tossing
newspaper and discarded coffee cups
along Madison Ave.

Rooftop trees sway and their green leaves
dance in waves of reflected color.

I hear music. I see the city slowing down.
A chance to breath, a respite
from the hectic hours that pass and the energy
drained away into other things, other objects.

At the end of each day my body and mind
collapse in a lifeless lump
upon the rented queen bed
and thoughts of sleep pervade.

No dreams, the slate is cleared of the
previous days experiences and I awake
with a vigor and determination to live
the day as if tomorrow will not arrive.


Photos Copyright Twisted Root Photography

When this life’s pace and chaos
become too much I know where I can turn.

I return to my roots,
I return to the empty fields.

Here is a clean slate waiting
for the mind to create.

They offer possibilities,
an endless space to chase and capture dreams.

This is where the mind can exist
without limitations or boundaries.

This is home.

Shifting through photos
I feel no connection, no recognition
to the person with time and years
ahead of them, looking to the future.

Pausing at one in particular in the midst of summer,
oak leaves burning with white light,
the sun slowly fading into the horizon
behind the hill at the street’s end.

What was etched into the mind
when the image became a permanent
moment tossed into a shoe box?
What was the last thought defining that moment?

Years will pass and that young face
will undergo an outward expression
of the strife, agony, depression, and final transformation
built upon the experiences, cast from the struggle.

In time what we are in this life
circles back to the foundation,
the hands pushing up from the earth,
the roots feeding a child’s growth and imagination.

Summer. Days of long hot sun,
the wind scorching exposed skin
and throwing sand and twigs everywhere.

Summer. Early mornings when the sun
first reaches above the pine tree tops
and the light squirms its way through
openings in the pole barn roof, tapping
on closed eyes. Slowly the whippoorwill
across the seasonal creek is heard and
the acorns hitting roof every time
the wind arrives.

Summer. Afternoon storms that build
and tower above the flight paths
of airplanes, the silent clouds
with layers of colors, various shapes,
and ever-changing patterns.

Before the storms arrive as the sky darkens,
I am serenaded by the whispering pine
and the silent awakening of not being alone,
of having a connection with the earth
and to each tree providing shelter.

40 Days become 40 years
and the revolution/transformation
I began culminates from the
mountain peak.

Into the valley life flows
as the new sun rises
over the range.

Caribou continue their
thousand mile trek across
vast swaths of land
following their ancestors hoofs.

I teeter on this ridge and see
beyond the glacier fed waters
and the crystal sky and fall
into the ancient land where

the marathon first began,
where the fields were first built.

Alaska-20100729-20100807 277

 

I walk the worn dirt path
circling the overgrown fields
where the winds have abated
and the grass, flowers, and
trees have grown deep
roots while the land has
gone back in time before
the cities of industry.

The newest member of the family will be home soon.  Here she is, Vinny, at 4 weeks old.

IMG_1796

(1)

Putting aside hollywood notions
of machine versus man –

September morning is
hidden in fog, coated
with an early frost.

Subdued sun scattered
across fields, meadows, and prairies.

The sky becomes the land
becomes the horizon.

We head north,
leaving behind city
lights and traffic
for pine trees and
winter in the air.

(2)

Winter is coming
early this year.

With axes, shovels
and our hands

we move the earth
gently and with care.

Preparing trails
and food plots,

becoming part of
the system,

returning to our roots.

Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade
Shelter and Home
Shelter and Home
My Helper
My Helper

A two-story white house
one window blue-framed
large oak tree in the
manicured yard, planter
with purple flowers
sways in the gentle breeze.

Every hour or so
the front door opens
and a man holding a
coffee cup emerges –
cigarette lit,
he watches traffic
on 7th street.

From this distance
across 7th street,
sipping my own coffee,
I ponder the image he
is painting, mixing
in the colors surrounding the house
and the paint upon his shoes.

To mom and pops


Light edges across the roof
giving rise to my shadow.

With eyes closed I know
it is there, I know I am home.

I left 20 years ago
trying to find my way

to make my own life
and path.

Travelling to other countries
finding my heart in Alaska

but I always came back
to where my roots planted –

where I first tasted
natures’ sweetness

and felt pain and love,
where I struggled with

childhood and a place
within the chaos.

No matter where I went
home was there waiting

with mom and pops
arms out unconditionally.


Home, Sunrise
Home, Sunrise