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A few days at the lake
Breckinridge County, Kentucky
Rough River Lake
Wasted energy &
wasted time. This place
three miles back a county
road. Calamese Creek –
Each lot for sale;
like this land is your land,
this land is my land –
to the dam line, to the gravel
road – to do whatever the hell
On the weekend – on holidays,
some come to escape the
humdrum of the city.
Some, to replicate the city.
The Amish and Mennonites farm the fields.
The “campers” from the towns come
burning fuels, stocked bass boats
and mobile homes, pouring
thousands into American Dreams –
and bored with their surroundings
coexist, with the Indian mom and pops.
Shop at the Dollar General.
A few “locals” sit at a hot spot
watching T.V broadcasting
from Jefferson’s County, Kentucky
and no wonder Meriwether Lewis
shot himself outside of Nashville,
Do you know that history?
When President Jefferson in
an Undaunted Courage sent
York, Rodgers and Sacagawea
across the unknown, soon to be
stolen land, only to have Leland
Stanford, finally finish the deed.
Gold, driven into a steel road –
connecting east to west. And
John Henry died for our sins!
Custer was not a friend.
The Ghost Dances around this
pen like a children’s round –
ring around the Rosie
we are all going to die!
I sit silent in this spot
listening to the locals’ moan of
how everything they love, is on loan
and how the Indian folks are not
welcome. So, the Americans seek jobs
and sink their money into the Dollar General.
Never asking the Indians where they
Never talking to the Indian’s kid
who goes to school at Breckinridge County
high, middle or low. And on the outskirts
a mom and pop has become a Motorcycle
Club. Charlie has made it
here and now they can sell beer and
whine about heroin, waving flags
while we are still at war in
The people at the spot
watch as a black kid was shot
far away in Louisville.
The news locality and reality
not known to the consumers
of this media they ask,
“what did he do?”
He should have not run when
the police said, “stop!”
or “I’ll shoot.” Like this is
the American West and we are
in a duel. High noon, and they
are the news sheriff in town.
Hopped up on a Facebook rant,
a public stance.
The nice lady takes my check –
I pay the bill and she looks at
me funny when I suggest that
they should burn the Dollar General
down! The Wal-Mart in Leitchfield,
20 miles away, knows that they are
“at risk” of losing control of
the market as outposts of another
bank, set up shop in neighboring
small towns. Their patrons trickle down
to a crawl. The mighty Dollar General,
has them surrounded!
And remember, this is the Fourth of
July weekend, we make it or break it –
if, Mother Nature, “cooperates!”
These few days the city folks,
like the church goers on Easter,
many will not return next week,
or the week after that.
The motorcycle club will remain –
the money syphoned off and
the children sent away to fight
for this way of life. A small tank
of gas for that bass boat.
The Corpse of Engineers told us
this place would redeem our souls and
fill our pocket books.
Outside a Mennonite sells his goods,
his children pulling the load
on a bike, his wife waving a basket
from wood reaped from a fallen barn.
Crosses on the roadside symbolize the
fallen savior. An American flag
waves – Chinese fireworks are sold for
pennies on the dollar.
A confederate flag on a truck,
menacing history of states’ rights –
plantation slaves, but, what about
those “foreigners?” The Indian
family venture that bought that
bankrupt gas station. Where do
they spend their money?
What about the Amish? Do they
pay their debts to a society that
they are escaping from?
May the farce be with you!
Happy Fourth of July.
Can we talk revolution?
My boy sits glued to an epic
journey. The little people, slay
a dragon. I am alone, down the
hill reciting poetry to
the woods. A deer quietly on
the path, like a child sneaking
something, slips into the forest.
Like this, this time, relative to
this moment. Stories of old
and words from a heart, old,
perspectives known and teachers
of conscience in kind.
I have gone into the soul
in search of big words to
describe methods – I have none!
My tongue and fingers only
mimicking what my ears and
eyes have found.
The forceful beatings of
my heart cannot be extracted!
Language is bound by time –
from where this body gets it’s
electricity, is not known to me and
faith is my favorite conversation!
My son’s movie ends with the words,
“what have we done?” As the mythical
dragon flies away into a darkness.
I ask of you dear reader …
What makes you tick?
Wakes you, sweating?
Causes you to love?
What is the matter that is
so far reaching, expanding –
our minds, can never
Waiting, this next chapter starts
with you. Like union!
This boy will one day be gone.
We will be worried …
Like when before he was born,
and we did not seek to know who
was arriving. Naturally patient
When I whispered into your ear,
“Jonah is here,” and in the name of God
the most merciful and most compassionate.
We named our son after a Prophet,
who was used to teach judgement / anger.
Many times, we have been swallowed
by a whale! Judged and be judged –
spit out. Our family difficulties, trust –
I sharpen a new pencil,
the old one,
This one, has a brand-new erasure!
Our old life can be edited, memories
drawn upon, we can move from there
to where we want to go!
Like birth includes death!
Like work includes thirst and rest.
Thinking in stories
A friend suggested that I am the
way that I am …
because I think in stories.
A narrative, who am I?
Once upon a time – whee go …
Family – Tree
Brother – Sister
Mother – Father
Beginning – End
I suggest, peeling an onion to
find layer after story, like water
ripples, the little waves
disperse in all directions.
The rock falls through
stratification. Light reflected
from the splash, a rainbow –
a miracle of light and sound.
One second, one instant –
gone – silence.
It is time –
I, has lost!
To be of service!
A Father – husband
partner – sometimes
like watching a child
fail, not knowing what
to say – offering a strong
hug – just a look –
glance – a heartfelt tear.
I feel it – with you!
These words, like a mirror.
I am just a man of few words –
a man burning away!
It is time
to stop –
cry no more –
06-30-2017 6:30 A.M
Jonah, M’boy – sleeping in
a tent, my 47-year-old bones
walk up the hill to coffee
and this pencil.
I am doing this to get back
years lost – no one seems to
understand me when I tell
I worked for the railroad.
I quit with Joe Watson on my
mind, he retired on Tuesday
and died in his sleep on Thursday.
Never saw a retirement check!
There were many like him.
So, for this week – I play catch up.
I missed a many family weekend,
many a precious moment.
You do the math –
70 hours a week, 12 hours down
and 12 hours back, 10 hours goes by,
and your back on the rail, again.