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Category: Van Life

POEM: he lives in a van

he lives in a van

no one thrives in a factory
we need sun on our faces
& snow underfoot

a hundred miles
with the crockpot on low
& some beer in the fridge

up the mountain
write your name
down the mountain, cook

the drone circles the summit
captures his tiny image there
one arm raised, smiling

/ / /

Earth Day 2021
State College PA
for fellow van dweller
Foresty Forest

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POEM: a poem for myself

a poem for myself

I’m driving through Virginia
listening to Tommy Emmanuel
on a playlist I made in different times
I was going to write this poem about you
but I decided to write it about me instead
because I need to take back your space
            in my head
you used to say you liked my singing
well I like my singing too
& lots of people could love a weathered guy
who sings “King Of Wishful Thinking”
at the top of his voice
as he passes one semi after another
I’m starting to believe this road
could take me somewhere better
& in any case this is a real good playlist

/ / /

12 April 2021
Verona VA
for me

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POEM: real Georgia hospitality

real Georgia hospitality

the first one brought me to a garage
near a grocery store
the second to a garage
near a few restaurants
one asked if I had a way to heat the van
the other made sure he found me a level place
both got me out of the rain
made sure I was safe
for no other reason than being good people
my friend said people will show you
their humanity once they see yours
he’s right & that’s what I hold onto
when the rain comes

/ / /

10 April 2021
Newnan GA
for my two tow truck drivers

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POEM: beside the road, a sign:

beside the road, a sign:

suddenly I have tears in my eyes

if only I knew where I was headed
a few miles later the desert opens
pours away like an ocean over the horizon

don’t give your energy to fear, she says
as I have tears in my eyes again
but who will love me, I ask her

there are more things to love than just people
she tells me from a few feet away
(there’s a woodpecker in the trees)

later, driving away, I see it
a flash of white wings as it dips in front of me
I’m headed to a camping spot, alone

later still I build a fire
the rain comes shortly after
my eyes burn from the smoke


25 March 2021
Rothrock State Forest

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POEM: Going Over San Augustin Pass

Going Over San Augustin Pass

there’s a moment as the highway curves
when it looks like you’ll disappear
off the end of the Earth
lost in a pale blue sky from which
there is no returning

in the next moment you’re over the pass
spreading out before you is a basin so large
it’s as if the ground and sky switched places

far off in the distance
the pastel shadows of mountains
like an artist’s rendering

/ / /

26 February 2021
near Las Cruces, New Mexico

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POEM: Hello sailor

Hello sailor

Don’t tell me how to lose someone.
I’ve earned this experience.
Some knitting, a watch, a photograph:
through these things I remember.
The blood rises to my cheeks, already red
from genes I no longer trust.
I’m like the ship of Theseus.
How much can I cast away & still be myself?
I try to identify my face in the bathroom mirror
at the grocery store. Those are my eyes,
there’s my crooked nose, that’s the gap between my teeth.
Every seven years all the cells in my body renew.
I set the boat on the water, push it out to sea.

/ / /

13 February 2021
Port Orford, OR

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