We just returned from two weeks of total and complete freedom. The wilds of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and glorious Montana fully embraced us, let our bodies relax, turned off our minds, opened our hearts. Nothing to do but make camp, eat food, have a little run. While I always enjoy the excitement and boundary pushing of international travel, to me nothing compares to our self-sustained, off the grid trips in the Landcruiser. We sleep in our own bed, cook our own meals and most importantly are outside all day and what can feel like all night with the rooftop tent flaps wide open, staring at the stars, awash in the night breezes.
The third morning out I decided to try writing a poem a day. Some of them turned out alright and I wanted to push myself to publish a few here, to sort of make me accountable for them. I have always been a journal keeper, but for epic trips like this last one, a poem is not only shareable, but has the ability to capture a moment more precisely, touching on all the senses. In re-reading them I feel again that I am there, at that particular camp spot on that particular evening. The power of words! I subtitled the first one "poem a day - because why not?".
July 19, 2017 - Spud Brown's Farm, Eastern WA
Earth like a dry cracked fissure
on my sun scorched leg.
The wide, slow blueness
of the Columbia cutting through,
giving the impression of freedom.
High on this bluff
we were singing folk songs last night,
with that warm wind rising
over the wheat fields, tumbling
through the sagebrush
to find us
eating dinner by twilight
breaking in to our wine stash
to quiet the sounds
of the air brakes on I-90 below.
July 28th - Off Hwy 80, Ruby Mountains, Nevada
A warm wind
whipped up from the canyon,
sent the aspen leaves shaking
the length of their long white arms
outstretched toward our perch
in the high desert meadow,
whose gentle shades
of sagebrush, deep purple blooms, yellow tipped scrubs
were softened by the setting sun.
The pan was on,
frying zucchini, boiling pasta,
while our feet danced
over red dirt and quartzite rock
giddy in their shoeless freedom.
That warm wind
picked up our hair
and sent me deep into your arms
where we held on to the good fortune
of our heartbeats
settling in to rhythm
of sharing this high mesa,
with only a few deer and cattle
of the crescent moon
hanging low in the pink desert sky.