Will Mayo has sent me a few pieces on walking/not driving. The contest continues until January 30, so you have a little more time to send me your own poems or flash fiction!
On Walking Away
He walks the land
of the overhanging skyscraper
and the place
of the dying wheat.
His clothes are marked
with the dust of a thousand roads.
And his eyes are scarred
from the battle
that is fought only within.
While untended beard and forgotten hair
spill their threads
upon the pattern of his shoes
He reflects upon
the home that was not a home
and the past
where nothing was started
and nothing was gained.
As he treads one more step
and reaches for that other lost hand,
he settles at last upon a shore
where all may come to rest.
And he reflects upon the fact
that is far easier
to walk in the land of the stranger
than in the house of friends.
When home is one penny less
than the town next door.
One Night, A Walk
But I think the craziest stunt I ever pulled in those years together was that time back in September of 1984 when I just up and decided on the spur of the moment to walk from our apartment in Hyattsville to Annapolis. Took all night but I did it. Of course, the road was under construction at the time, so that there was practically no road to speak of really, just the guardrail with the dark empty space beneath and at times there was not even that so that I had to broad jump across the chasm from one broken stretch of pavement to another. Finally, I caught a ride. It was a fellow who'd just been released from prison for the crime of murder. At least, that's what he told me. "Tell me about it," I said. He showed me the sights. It was kind of neat.
Well, that's it for now. I'm back to the books. Tell the boys hello. More to come.
Will Mayo, a buddy
After The Weary Trip
Years ago, I used to walk many a mile.
Down to the corner store
for a bag of groceries.
Over and round about
for a beer or two.
Perhaps to Route One
or the Golden Mile
for a game of cards,
Then there was always the extra mile
for a lover,
and then some.
I used to walk farther,
much farther too.
Just for the view.
Just for the sight
of that extra horizon,
that place from which wonders reside.
Today I have not walked far at all.
I have rested after a weary trip
I have rested after a weary trip
and the miles have encompassed me.
But one day I shall walk that extra mile.
And be where wonders reside.
The Hardest Walk
But perhaps the hardest walk I ever undertook was from what was then the family home on the side of the mountain and to the Frederick city limits about five miles away in temperatures far, far below zero in some winter's Arctic blast. The wind blew hard that day and my hair and beard turned to solid sheets of ice down to my shoulders but I kept on walking with my thumb out in a hitcher's gesture. I was bound and determined to overcome the days and weeks of cabin fever even if it killed me and then too it nearly did. Finally, I had just reached what was then the city limits (our fair city has expanded some since then) when an older couple gave me a ride the rest of the way into town and over to a convenience store where I stomped my cold feet and rubbed my hands together to gather what little heat I could muster up before finally giving up and using my last dime to call for a ride home. I knew then my hitchhiking days were over. I haven't looked back since.
Let's listen to a little music, starting with Charlie Haden's version of "Wayfaring Stranger": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJtdV39vFus
This is his "He's Gone Away" from Beyond the Missouri Sky, an album with Pat Metheny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzz8o7JdflI
Next is "The Moon Song," also from Beyond the Missouri Sky:
I'll finish with "One Day I'll Fly Away," with Keith Jarrett on piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p71c90JlROY