Wayne et al.

Friday August 2, 2013.  Saturna Island.  Whether or not we want to see Wayne.  He wants to see us, do we want to see him?  Answer. Answer in the rain, ladies and gentlemen.  I pick up the phone and give him the call.  He’s okay with it.  We might not be coming by.  It’s raining and he’s not in any danger of riding his motorcycle out here either.  If we feel like we need a tub of yogurt from the store we may come by and see if he’s around.  He’s got things to do although, with the rain, he can’t do the main thing he was planning to do.  Some sort of paid piece of work, is my guess.  He doesn’t say what it is, but he’ll be ‘in and out’.  We leave it at that.  Saved.

We already have to leave tomorrow and it’s too bad.  Another week would be good.  We got some work done but I haven’t written a word except this.  It takes a while to establish a routine and if you can avoid doing that by not being here long enough, is this something like a non-accomplishment?  That’s pretty much what my writing’s about.

Took a small hike out past Fiddler’s Cove under the overcast sky.  Always nice in the woods with the views, the moss, the arbutus, the trail hammered through by generations of deer and goats.  The area is actually owned by the original inhabitants of these parts but no one lives in there.

I find it satisfying, rewarding and a confidence-builder to finally be chopping some wood over here from the newly fallen trees we took down to improve the view and the safety of the little cottage, brought to you by “Dr. Sunshine”, the wise-in-years lumberman who came by and helped us out and left the trees in nice, wood burning stove sized rounds.  I haven’t hacked into any of those rounds until today, eight months later.  The splitter axe works wonderfully well on this magnificent wood.  I am a woodsman at last.  As I was saying to my bodyguard just earlier, “I never made it to Scouts.  Barely made it through Cubs.”  I remember in earlier days I always hated trying to chop wood with an axe that just wasn’t doing the job.

I was just thinking I could write my column from here.  Except that I don’t have a column.  Everybody’s a columnist now.  The sordid net is awash in ’em.  I think they call ’em blogs.  People want to give it away, and everybody has their own opinion.  But the one opinion that really counts is yours, right?  Thing is it ain’t true.

Found the remains of a raptor on the trail today.  Picked clean.  Nothing left but the two fairly large wings.  Got out-raptored by a bigger raptor, I’d say.  Just the feathery wings were left and the bone and cartilage of the body were right there, reddish-hued, for all the forest to see.  Nearby were a lot of feathers where Confederate States surmises the battle of the raptors went down.  I had to admit this was probably the scene else how could that carcass and all those feathers, which weren’t right beside each other, get there by accident?  Good call.

We gave up on the trail as we’d started late and I wasn’t interested myself in hiking the length of the island, which, I was pretty sure, was the route of this trail because the deer and goats are everywhere.  It would have been a few kilometers to Mt. David and I said, “Let’s do the whole thing but get an earlier start on it and maybe bring a sandwich or something.”  So we turned back.  States saw an old pileated woodpecker, grey hairs in it’s red top-tuft, dunting as they do with his beak atop some old snag.  In the quiet forest that dunting sound carries a long way.

A Triptych of Island Poems

Change of pace now from our old master carver. Far from the people, places and events that set your mind on edge lie volumes of bucolic material, opportunities for advancement in the field of trying to understand and failing, but enjoying the ride a little more. Let’s not get all university here. It’s always an enjoyable ride and if there’s anything to be grateful for it’s the vast variety of experience even if we’re locked in continuum jail followed by XX. It’s the gentleman amateur’s way.
Tonight’s contestants are three fabulous songs bolted together by time. Time has softened their contours but not lessened their ephemerality. If the poet captures a thousandth of what was possible let’s wave from the sidelines and shout, “Nice shot!” Efforts tell. Make poetry a part of your day.


We never really exist
Life is with the immortals
Who see outside time
And have no being
And are just an idea
As you’re gazing on space
The wide open Pass
And the tall grass is shining
Just below in the vast

How many men have lived like me?
Dreamers, idealists
There has to be a place where we’re all stacked up
Okay, it’s an imaginary place
But there has to be a body-count of those who wished
But never were

Think of their places below on the slopes
All the diehard dopes
And all the dope we planted someone stole
And all the cutting we did to improve the view
And it’s grown over again
And it always happens

At the bottom of the hill
At the edge of the cliff
At a makeshift shrine
In the waving grass
We scattered the ash
That ecstasies abound
That it isn’t necessary
Or sound
To be an unrelenting catastrophic clown
Good advice

Haven’t seen orcas in a couple of years
They’re out there somewhere though, being successful
Recall one of the first times I came here
Ahead down the path comes this mysterious sound
The sound of orcas
Thought it was the wind or something in the trees
Then the view opens up, this panoramic vision
And in the Pass a fine fresh pod of orcas splashing in the sun
Way out right through the middle of the Pass
The grass was high that trip too

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