The Poetry Returns

March 1, 2018

Highway 187

Caballo, New Mexico


The Poetry Returns


The poetry returns, bouncing joyfully across the page. Hand written, it is new and fresh, finding life on the pages, of a one dollar composition book, with pages sewn to the cover. If I have written the same, since my childhood, there is always a new discovery, and the wonder of the same. It arrives of its own volition, and is fleeting as well, so must be captured immediately, lest it be lost. I am carrying the book, striped black and white, everywhere I go.


So it is the poetry has revived itself. If I so dreaded to go back to work that I waited until the final moments to do so, I have also found happiness. If I was content to be in Nogal and Three Rivers, I was not fully settled. The uncertainty was challenging, but no more than the thought of being someplace else. I feared the forty hour week and the required transition as much as I did the quest for an alternative, though in so many ways I was happy to do so. The ultimate choice to let time take its toll served me well and I have found a good place in the end.


The poetry! It has come and gone with the years. It returned in full force on the Plains, and the canyons not so distant from where I am. It slipped away as just quickly, returning again, and then fading over time. It came back again just days ago, the smile of a traveler, the strum of a guitar, and a train song……….its own form of poetry in word and motion. If he intended to touch my heart he did more, taking me back to a time well before the present, and many joyful thoughts. I felt I had to return the same and when I told him I wanted to hear another train song, so I penned my own, for him. I left it is his hand as we parted.


I feel as if pieces of my heart are being returned to me here, one at a time. It isn’t that I have lost anything along the way. It is different than that. It is that one thing has taken the place of another, as was necessary to survive. As thoughts and emotions shift some get pushed back, and buried away. The joy and laughter of youthful exuberance, and innocence, makes way for greater seriousness. The spontaneity is channeled into dedication, and purpose. The love and laughter to perseverance and the occasional companion.


I have not lost any of it and the strengths I have developed along the way have served me well! If I have found resilience so I have grasped every joyful moment and experience and not only captured them in words but in spirit and kept them close. I thank God I have them to reflect on and it is those reminders which bring them back to life, and to the fore of my experience. There is no need to lose them but rather a clear requirement to breathe life back into them on a routine basis. Just as one opens the door to a woodstove and brings life back to the coals while adding new fuel to the fire, those joys are all the same. The poetry returns whenever one allows it to, we need only a subtle reminder of its beauty.


So it is I went to the Dollar Store and found a small composition book like to ones I had as a child. It is the prefect vessel for my poetry and I have titled it Footnotes, in honor of the travelers who have inspired it. In making the transition back to a full time employee I had to keep my hand on something tangible to create the needed balance. In my heart I am a free spirit, ever the gypsy, and would have it no other way. At the same time I am still a professional, and in order to achieve the goals I have set I am still willing to apply myself. There will come a time when I will be no longer willing, or able to do so. It seems it may come sooner than later, but my skills, and my willingness, are still very present. I am finding a reward from this in as much of a spiritual means as I am the financial. I will willingly stay the course for so long as this is true. The poetry has returned, a sign for me that all is well. I can ask for nothing more.


Train Song (For Stray, the fellow sitting on his pack with the red beard)


I wanna hear

Another train song

The music of the road

The heartbeat of a memory

From days long past

And gone

The tempo of the rails

The whistle of the wind

The rhythm of the highway

On the road again.

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