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Personal Information

Does Readings?  Yes
            Born in:  Rock Springs, WY
            Raised in:  Rock Springs, WY
            Lives in:  Mesa, AZ

Poetry at The Puppet Theater Phoenix, AZ      Featuring:    David Chorlton, John Hershman, Jefferson Carter &   Virgil Chabre


FAVORITE WEBSITES
 

Richard Brautigan
http://www.poemhunter.com/richard-brautigan/

Gary Snyder
http://www.wenaus.com/poetry/snyder.html

Lyn Lifshin
Lhttp://www.lynlifshin.com/

Bob Dylan
http://www.bobdylan.com/#/songs

Favorite Quote

“According to the theory of aerodynamics, and as may be readily demonstrated through wind tunnel experiments, the bumblebee is unable to fly. This is because the size, weight, and shape of its body in relation to its total wingspread makes flying impossible. Yet the bumblebee, being ignorant of these scientific truths, goes ahead and flies anyway.”

-author unknown

Finis Mitchell

  

Finis Mitchell was a mountain man, humanitarian, environmentalist, author, photographer and good friend. He was my inspiration and confidant. He lived to be one day short of his 94th birthday. During his lifetime he took over 100,000 pictures of the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming.  At the age of 73, while on a glacier, he twisted his knee in a snow-covered crevasse.  He hacked crude crutches out of pine wood and hobbled 18 miles to find a doctor, and was able to resume climbing until the age of 84, when further injury to his knee ended his solo climbing career.  He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Wyoming. 

During the Great Depression Finis lost everything and went to the Wind River Mountains to hunt and fish for food. He is an inspiration to all and I feel very fortunate to have known him and call him my friend.

Inside a Trona Mine

  

I remember the silence of riding

A caged elevator down the mine shaft

There is a certain perspective 

About going to work in a mine

Looking at the concrete walls

As the cage moves on underground

Stopping at over 1600 feet

Below the surface


It is another world

Where man learns to live

Among the darkness

And dust and the sound of the mine

All around 

Fans forcing air down the shaft

So that miners can breathe


Every breath may be their last

As the roof above makes sounds

Of cracks and crevasses 

Waiting to fall

The sudden shock of loss of power

Brings a new meaning to darkness

And silence


Absolute quiet as you hear

The sound of a mouse

Running across the floor

Total darkness cannot be experienced

Above ground

Once you experience darkness

In a mine 

It stays with you


You dream of darkness

Hearing the sounds of the mine

Before you wake up

To face the day

The daylight becomes your friend

For darkness is where you live


Hearing explosions

As life in the mine continues

Bringing trona to the surface

For glass, detergents, baking soda

And chemicals


Making a better life

Out of the darkness

Away from the sound of a mouse

Trying to survive

Below the surface of the earth

Listen to Johnny Cash

There are times I feel like a fool

Upon a hill  

Where memories  

Cast me aside

I think of her  

Where she took me  

And fall into a dream  

Where I am lost  

Like a song I can't remember  

So I listen to Johnny Cash  

To bring me back to a reality  

I left behind


I see a silhouette  

In the shadow  

Dancing to a song  

I cannot remember the lyrics  

Only the beat and her movement  

In my mind  I know somewhere She sits  with a song in her Heart  I try to think  which song Will it be tonight  

Lost among the words  

That fail to come  

Into my mind  

I listen to Johnny Cash  

To cast my feelings side  

Like a song  

I will remember in the morning  Long after this dream  

Will be forgotten


It is not  Ring of Fire 

Sunday Morning Coming Down 

Hurt 

A Boy Named Sue  or 

Orange Blossom Special  

But it could be  

I Still Miss Someone  Or I walk the Line  There is nothing  

Left to do  

But listen to Johnny Cash  

When she enters my mind.

The Day I Fell Into the Grand Canyon


It was a calm June day

The Arizona heat was in my face

No wind today

The sight of the Grand Canyon

Is hard to describe

It is like looking at a photograph

That is not real

It is like something

Out of a science fiction movie


I looked out across the canyon

It took my breath away

The reality of a photograph

Within my reach

I had to move closer

To get a better look

I climbed a fence

That had a sign

"DO NOT ENTER"


I still wanted a closer look

I heard someone yell out

"You cannot cross the fence"

It startled me for a moment

But I moved closer to the edge

My footing was not solid

The voice yelled again

"STOP"

Startled again 

I looked back

But lost my footing


As I felt my knees buckle

My heart rate increased

With nothing to hold me back

I slipped and fell

I felt the wind

Totally around my body

The canyon flashed before me


I tried to focus my eyes

But the wind in my face 

Made it difficult to see

Falling I felt a strange 

sense of freedom

It was as if I was falling

In slow motion


Suddenly I could see around me

A dark cloud approached

When it passed me

I realized it was a California Condor

I could see its nine feet wingspan clearly

It was probably wondering

What I was doing in its air space

I could see the detailed look

Of its eyes

Staring at me like rubies

Clear and red

Just glowing


A grey wolf on the canyon side

Watched me pass by

It did not move

Standing like a lost statue


A Turkey Buzzard

Was circling above me

I could see it fading in the distance

Gliding patiently

Waiting for my fall to end


I saw the Colorado River approaching

The wind seemed to stop blowing

Around me

As my free fall continued

The river getting closer and closer

In case you are wondering

I am still falling....

More poems

The Cyclops

I went to see the Cyclops last night
The sun was down
He was dancing in the shadows
Afraid of the dark
I think it was a Beatles tune
“Blackbird singing in the dead of night”
Why are you afraid of the dark?
I asked him
It’s that damn woodpecker
During the daylight
He thought I was a tree
Man that woodpecker can peck
My eyes couldn’t take the light anymore
So I became friends with the nighthawk
Keeps woodpeckers away
But those scorpions drive me crazy
I can’t see them among the pine needles
They hurt my feet
Too much deadwood in this area
I think I will move to the city
Concrete will help heal my feet
But the bright lights would be too much
And the dancing would be missed
You don’t hear the Beatles songs
That you used to
So I will stay here
With the nighthawk and the owl
Pretend I am wise
And keep moving my feet
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”

The Wall Came Tumbling Down

              November in Berlin
             Was never this way
             Running back and forth
             Like a pendulum on a clock
             The clock struck twelve
             And Cinderella ran
             With both slippers
             And a smile on her face
             Not worrying about time
             Humpty Dumpty jumped
             It wasn't a great fall
             And the pieces
             Crumbled around him
             But he never glanced back
             As the wall came tumbling down


December Holocaust

             It was the 12th day of December
            I can remember the day
            But not the year
            My long term memory has slipped away
            Lost somewhere in a cattle car
            Along a lonely railroad

            It is snowing today
            A cold chill fills the air
            Today we walk with no shoes
            Picking up the pieces of life
            Left behind

            A strange smoke fills the air
            The stench of death all around us
            We are silent
            Nothing to talk about
            Nothing to share
            The future
            The past
            Existence gone
            It is the present
            A time for silence

            A cold breeze
            Blows through my body
            My bones are chilled

            Smoke rises into the sky
            Taking lost relatives
            For a final ride

I Stopped By

I stopped by

To visit with you

Share some conversation

Or was it so my eyes

Could capture your vision

If only for

A moment

Before I left

Not saying what’s really

On my mind

She Needed

    

She needed an ocean

I gave her a river

That flowed passed her

Leaving her dry and alone


She needed a mountain

I gave her a hillside

With a tree

And an empty swing

Swaying  in the wind


She needed tomorrow

But all I had was today

And the ticking of a clock

That said time was passing by


She needed the sunshine

But I lived in the shadows

Darkness was my friend

As I heard the closing of a door

Vernal (A City in Utah)

  

The land of dinosaurs

Moving across the horizon

They now rest peacefully

In a museum

With Archeologists chipping away

The care and understanding

They possess is forgotten in time


A hunting ground

For Native Americans

The cool winds

Kept the prairie clear

And peaceful

Settlers moved in


There was a rumble 

Beneath the ground

It filled the air with promise

And prosperity

But there will be a cost

To the so called

Progress of man


A new method

A new word

FRACKING

The natural gas 

Beneath the ground

Became the Savior

For jobs and prosperity


But the cost

Would be great

As people faced their executioner

Chemicals unknown

Pumped into the water supply

Death and disease

Became a by product

Of new cars

And mansions on a hill


Wisdom is hard to explain

When it hides behind

The smiles of politicians

On their way to the bank

With their souls already sold

Small caskets buried

Beneath the ground