Tales From The West Coast Trail

My Mind Right Now is like the Blunt Splintery Burls of the Driftwood Log:  It is Catching and Pulling on the Fabric of my Thoughts


There we watched in silence as the full moon rose
Slow above the ancient Sitka wall so close
To sunset that still the last of the day’s light
Lingered fading in the northern sky.  The night
Then rolled in along the bay like ocean mist
And the moon’s pallid illumination pressed
Itself against the sea, as though the cloud wall,
Ethereal and vast, did silently call
Out mysteriously pleading with the tide,
All the way out, its still water just implied.
There the forest looms black and brooding and deep,
Organic and powerful, with its tall, steep
Jagged crown piercing the plate misty moonlit
Night and descending into the churning pit
Of its darkest heart.  All along the silver
Ribbon of the beach the distinction is blurred
Where the two worlds meet as the flickering glow
Of our campfires beat out a pulse fast, then slow,
Tentative, encroached upon but comforting
Though; each a beacon that in the silence sings
Out snaps and pops into the night that grows deeper;
With faint moonshadows shrinking in the steeper
Moonlight.  And now the orange fire light is compressed
In between the malingering soaking breath
Of the sea and the forest’s deep uncanny
Presence, when then it comes as epiphany
As we’ve sat in silence the entire time
That our whole lives are lived on very thin lines


Your brother died out in the waves
He could not fight his way to swim
Against the current and the cold
That took his best and did him in

Now you’ve come to Pachena Bay
And watch the night roll in like fog
The tide is out the sea is calm
You sit against a driftwood log

Your brother died out in the waves
Years ago and you’ve mourned for him
And now you sit and watch the sea
That took your best and did him in


We live our lives on very thin lines I find
Myself chanting in a mantric loop of time
Keeping rhythm with the creaking of my frame
Backpack straps strain from the added weight of rain
Soaked gear as we race along the single track
Up and down and through the warm sunlight’s attack
Upon the sopping legacy of last night’s
Squall and all around the verdant forest lights
Ablaze radiating, luminous, and thrives
Of life celebrating green.  I am alive
I agree with the ancient trees but our rush
Along the trail is so slow amidst the hush
Static thrumming essence of the forest’s still
Presence, our path is trapped by time’s will
It seems into the single track’s narrow course
Through the forest’s dream and I wonder what force
Would tear me from this purpose to which I’m bound
And fling me through this multiverse that resounds
In green extending in directions beyond those which
Can be seen.  Between sea and the forest’s pitch
Black wall the night before it was much the same
And so too in the gray rain when morning came
To drive us from our wet tents to trek on down
The thinning strand of beach and the soaking sound
Of the flooding ledges and then the wet hush
Forest, the bursting of sunlight, and our rush
For the driftwood to dry out during lunch time
And to rest for a spell upon our thin line.


There’s a city in the driftwood that my people call their home
And I know I’ll be returning there no matter where I roam
To clamber over the whitened logs into the central square
Amidst the colors of drying gear I’ll find my people there

There I’ll find my people and I’ll partake of some offered food
And the blackness of the storm will fade in their infectious mood
In a world that’s full of sudden squalls and long incessant rain
I’ll lay on the sand, bask in the sun and find respite from pain


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