Pale blue eyes

She forgets
cigarettes and
loses the money

Father demands
their whereabouts,
smiling with anger

Trembling in
pale blue eyes,
she doesn’t know

Father beats her
in drunken stupor,
raging against all

Mother is nowhere
to be found,
mind long gone

In school,
they see welts
and bruises

Always they see
constant sadness in
pale blue eyes

She is shuffled off
to foster home
after foster home

Often she is seen
staring out windows
pale blue eyes

Her role model is a
wayward roommate seeking
love on street corners

Overworked social workers
never truly see her
pale blue eyes

Often she walks
around town seeking
what cannot be had

For there is no love
to be found absent
father and mother

And a foster home
with more abuse and
tortured souls

Will she ever find it,
so her beautiful heart
can sing once again?

Pale blue eyes,
always walking around
looking for love.

Alley Spring mill in the Ozarks

Grist mill on very edge of Alley Spring in Missouri. The spring empties into Jacks Fork river, a National Scenic River and National Park. You can camp just south of the Mill on the river and it was a beautiful, relaxing location.

Kayak view from Bonner’s Ferry

Kayak view of Lake Smith near Bonner's Ferry, Idaho

View from my kayak on Lake Smith near Bonner’s Ferry, ID. The orangish haze is smoke from nearby forest fires making for a bit of a surreal moment. Camped near the shore for a blissful week pretty much all by myself a couple years ago.

Convergent smile

(From a dream…)

I jumped back in time
to when I was little,
just starting school.

There in the hallways,
I saw Little Me
about to enter class.

Quickly, I darted
to try and catch him
so that I could tell him

That the lifelong
tidings he has to bear
wouldn’t be so bad.

That hearing aids draped
over his tiny chest would shrink
over years into his ears.

That even though some
kids would be cruel,
he’d bounce back.

That when some said
he wouldn’t amount to much,
he’d prove them all wrong.

That the mountains he
had to overcome would
make life far more rewarding.

And finally I wanted
to tell Little Me
that he was my true hero.

Sadly I was too late,
the door slammed and
I was yanked back to now.

Later that night,
after my weary soul
had fallen asleep

Little Me came to me
in a dream as real can be
and climbed into my lap.

Looking up at me with
a gentle smile, he said:
“Everything will be okay”

The past fell away,
future blurred, and the
now became a forever smile.

Just updated the blogroll

My blogroll got a little stale with a few broken links. Just removed ’em and added new ones. If you know of an interesting blog I should follow, add it in the comments section. I also explain why you should have a blogroll if you don’t have one.

What fears may come

After a too-long-for-me hiatus, I’m slowly and finally getting ready to get back on the road.

Most of my hiatus was focusing on recovering from chronic lyme disease which wrecked my body and sapped it of strength.

Once again I find myself facing an old familiar – fear.

Can still I do the things I so loved? These long, rambling hikes in the woods where I’d lose my soul in ‘em? Would I still have the strength to kayak down swirling rivers?

I’m not the sort to sit around camp most of the time. I’m a natural born explorer — a life unexplored is life wasted. Would I be too tired and exhausted to enjoy those wanderings?

Would the heat of long summer days wilt me? Can I handle the rigors of day to day camping life?

Out there, there is no retreat from escape. No air conditioned home to bolt back to, no safety valve for when things go awry. 

I’m not all there yet physically and yet I’ve come as far as I can in exile from the woods.

I feel the call of the road and I need to answer it. I must. My soul misses it deeply and my heart is empty.

It is time to fill those valises with the nectar of nature’s love and joy.

Once again I face my fears and see where they will take me.

Flowing into the suck

I’m always meaning to write more on this blog. Folks who know me well say I ought to be a prolific writer and all that.

I used to think the same, but many times when I sit down to write, I’m empty inside.

There’s nothing to give.

I don’t know what it means, nor do I want to give it meaning so that I’d have to do something about it.

My life has always been about flow. Even when there’s no flow.

Flowing empty.

All I can do is embrace it rather than struggle against it.

It doesn’t make the discontent go away. Sitting with it, maybe.

Flowing into discontent.

Sounds like a zen thing, doesn’t it? Maybe it is.

I don’t know, nor do I feel the need to define that either.

Flow I’ll continue. Embrace the suck and the not.

Time to ditch Unsplash photos?

It happened again — the Big Guy (Getty) bought out the little guy (Unsplash). And the Big Guy usually ruins the little guy.

Getty Images has an notorious reputation among photographers (low pay) and is a copyright tyrant (charges for public domain images, buys popular existing images and ex-post-facto goes after folks for using ’em).

From Om Malik:

[perfectpullquote align=”full”]Hearing this was like a red hot spike through the eyes. A startup whose raison d’être was to upend draconian and amoral companies like Getty Images was going to now be part of Getty.[/perfectpullquote]

My initial thought was despite promises made, Getty will find a way to charge for Unsplash’s images, perhaps along the slippery slope of commercial usage.

Om seems to think the same:

[perfectpullquote align=”full”]In a couple of years, when the Unsplash founders are gone, I won’t even be surprised if Getty’s strongmen started sending legal notices to those who used the photos. New rights-related legalese is probably already being drafted.[/perfectpullquote]

Technically, Unsplash’s license says it is irrevocable but they have changed their terms of service before.

I’d start going through your Unsplash images and swappin’ em out with other, more friendly alternatives out there.

Better to be safe than sorry.