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My father sleeps

My father sleeps peace quiet in his chair.
For almost a century, he has visited here.
He is different.
He has surrounded himself with the detritus of his memories
Selling artifacts gathered while his past breathed,
While his past was his now.
Presented proud. Moved on. Moved to unknown on-line.
**********************************
I found an ancient photograph
From before the film and video,
Of a lone woman my father witnessed as “Naked Woman running from a shed.”
So often I disagree as I have since I was young child.
I saw a woman in a ghost town of the West,
Dusty and worn,
Twirling a lasso, while another lasso lays in the dust
Like a waiting snake.
She is not naked, nor nude but in boots and shorts and the sheerest of tops.
And I knew things were about to change.

*************************************

Many I knew were heading home to their Playa,
Different to all that journeyed.
Looking to live outside themselves for seven days
And dance and wander blind in the dust
Following the music, following vague spirit, a muse to call
Leading them to themselves.
And I knew things were about to change.

************************************
An unknown woman, long gone.
Dust and lasso, long gone
Only brought-viewed to life by ancient stereoscopes
Allowing us to gaze back to earlier air.

 

nude

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Scent of a Rose, an Inspiration

Long before the internet and books and an understanding of our tiny place in the galaxy, there were the Muses.

Some say five, some nine. Regardless, they were there to stir passion in the soul, to let us see life beyond ourselves and envision a world of perfection and emotion. Their presence and the way they perceived the mortals that surrounded them, was much the way the Guerlain , or Gertrude Stein or Victor Hugo perceived a rose: A rose is much greater than just its delicate shape, color & form. The scent of the rose, filled the space it occupied and it was much greater much more expansive than the sum of its mere physical parts.

The Muses open the doors so that we can become and became greater than our shape, form, color. They fired the intellect; they inspire the soul to be more than our physical presence. I watched last night, in a simple gathering place, where their powers of love, strength, beauty, inspiration, mirth, and an openness of soul and generosity, recharged our souls, filled us with strength of character and set out to a world that sometimes waits to destroy us and tear us down. These Muses gave us the powers to stand tall against that overwhelming force, just by being there, by being warm in spirit, by laughing without care, by dancing with joyous glee, by listening sincerely to our words or by just being who they are at that moment.

Those Muses, recognized by the ancient Greeks, anthropomorphized by culture after human culture were present last night , walked among us last night and filled each one of us with the power and it should not frittered or flicker to waste. We are a very lucky and blessed group of people. Open our heart, drink in with your soul and become the rose: let your presence be greater than the limits of your physical form and fill the world around with the scent of your knowledge, your intellect, your creativity.

I’m not looking for any comments unless I have made a mistake, It is just the way I felt this morning when I woke this morning.

There is little here to argue or disagree with.

Maybe it is simple by recognizing the family that has formed, by how by such a random chance, these souls have brought together to share a space. Maybe it is just my brain trying to scratch out a simple thought.

Till again!

A Burner Tale

The hot wind blows relentless.

Alkaline dust blinds you and you are lost in a dust cloud. It seems that it never stops. And then all is clear and the lights and the faces and the shapes reappear. You are surrounded by some of the world’s most creative artists, but most are just people who have decided to give back to this magic place. Everywhere you turn, there is something new to explore, a new drink to try, new people to meet. Looking out over the Playa at night and watching thousands of strobing and twinkling LED lights or blast flashes from a 100 foot Octopus or a fire breathing dragon your mind scrambles to decipher what it is witnessing. 20 cupcakes in a row pass your path. The Space Shuttle ambles by. A sectional couch makes its way to the deep playa.

And you do this for 7 days, And on Saturday night, the Man is surrounded by 70,000 people and more art cars than you can count with different sounds from each one. Fire dancers like you have never seen parade, and fireworks explode that would make the Magic Kingdom cower in jealousy and then out of nowhere, an explosion that slams your chest and the flames and the cheers of 70,000 mesmerized as the towering Man burns to a pile of ash.

And on the next night, the temple that amazed you all week is surrounded again, but this time the art cars are silent and the people are silent and the spirits of the photos and the mementos and the scribbled poems on the temple wall of all we have lost, of dreams we seek, of hope we hope, burn quietly against the backdrop of a black night sky and surrounded by the silence of reverence.

Who wouldn’t want to spend those 7 days of life changing experience on the Playa in a place you never believed existed and could be so far from the world you came from?
Who wouldn’t want to take some time and find their way to the Playa, that will change their perspective on the world forever?

You want to go?

Thank you.

The Early Hours of a Desert Festival (WIP or Unfinished)

It is a place of worship, a capturing of a new spirit.

It is Love in pure form.

It is the new way, the new light.”

Eduardo Barbudo on The Joshua Tree Music Festival

 

Thursdays drive up to the high desert is filled with anticipation and speed along the I-10.

The first climb to the Morongo is met with little resistance from my old bus. On the trails second and final climb to the high desert, a truck ,heavy laden with cement, slows our climb and prepares us for the desert.

You move slower in the desert. You conserve your energies because you know who is in control and you want to survive. After reaching the second crest, the challenge to reach the High Desert is nearly complete.

I arrive, carefully position my home with respect for the Masters I will respect for the next four days: The Masters of the Wind, the Heat and the Sun. The encampment is assembled quickly and simple decorations of whimsy set out to adorn the shade structure we have built.

Time is slow here. In time, in a molasses slow time, we meet Becky, then X-Ray David, both new escape transplants to the High Desert from the lower cities round L.A. They smile broadly and wander the campground waiting.

As evening cool approaches, we explore and find the Astronomers, an unlikely crew of Star gazers, primed with beer, butchered vans and a trailer of equipment and telescopes that looked serious, seriously more than the price of my Saab.

 

They have been working to bring the universe in full color glory to an outdoor widescreen. Promises of “you are going to see the Crab Nebula like never before.” I never seen the Crab Nebula and maybe have never seen any Nebula. If something or someone was coming, they want to know.

They make me nervous because I am not sure they will warn me if they see blood thirsty aliens heading to the Earth off ramp, looking for a snack and bio break on the way to the Crab Nebula.

I wander to leave.

Outside the fence that sequesters the merry band of desert skygazers from the festival goers, the sand path wanders past little gypsy galleries. Artists moved through their spaces silently, trying to catch some last whisper from their Muse on the right choice of color or flourish swirl or sparkle that somehow captures their soul spirit on every form of canvas laid out that evening in the desert.

Gaia sits tranquil by the banks of the tiny reed lake, awaiting just like everyone, for the arrival of the spirits, still sitting in LA traffic or behind desks in offices scattered throughout the lower lands. In silence, silvered fish glide just under a mirrored surface.
There is no L.A. in their world, just gliding and silence.

We wander through the gates where the music magic will happen. The Hydration Station is primed and ready to relieve parched dancers. As it has at a hundred festivals before, the Java A Go Go is ready to deliver a boxers upper cut caffeine punch just as a festival fan wilts under the demands to wiggle or to clear a head fogged by unknown pharmaceuticals.

The Bowl stirs with antlike activity, long-haired carpenters nervously swinging hammers, laying cables, focusing flashing lights and lasers that will soon astound a thousand bouncing heads, a thousand bouncing fists raised high over the desert floor. A bassy thrill of Boom Wow blasts as they tweak the sound system. We leave ants to their finish work and soon discover that all the gates in and out of the festival have been given gate names : Floodgate, Watergate, Tailgate, Instigate and Tollgate. Ah organized festival humor. Past the gate, we head to an area loosely cordoned off with orange plastic roll fence. A man approaches, waving us back as we have found the only grounds where the festival goers will be forbidden to tread.

As the young but gray haired man approaches he tells us that people, people actually live here in this conglomeration of tumbled buildings, left over brainstorms from fairs past.

As it was said, this is a place where things are brought whose sole purpose is to deteriorate under the desert sun and to be enjoyed as they do so, slowly but unforgiving under the desert sun. We visit exchange pleasantries, learn something of the past of Matt and move on. Later he is told, when comes to our camp, that it is likely he is being featured on America’s Most Wanted as it this a a corner of the planet they would never look. He laughed and moved on.

Friday morning begins as lavender mountains melt to gold. The last of the darks cool breezes return to hiding and the first tiny beadlets of sweat begin to appear. Coffee done, press washed, we wait in the narrowing shade for the tribe to show. All day, passerbys rumor of 3000 then 3500 people on setting their sights on this desert village. It will be beyond tight.

And then Charly walks by with pretty rocks and acid and I am struck with the simplicity of her youth and skin and Bowersox dreads. She pulls out a small black box and like a travelling nomad, carefully describes each colored stone, patient with an old man who has no intention to buy her other wares. Although I blush with feigned embarrassment in the heat of the mid morning sun, Diana tells her of her beauty and she accepts it as a child innocent. Her tiny breasts are round and unhampered and she acknowledge in graceful youth the approval of the elder women from a different age. She nods approvingly never intended to strap her body with bonds and corded girds. In a flash, she is gone, filled with free market, refreshed by a quick moment to cool with us in the shade.

Two butterflies flit dance unaware of the coming flame of the Sun. Tents stir and campers stand to escape the heat only to see the sun overhead already in control of the day.

Pop of a drum in the distance and rainbow flag flap in a narrow breeze.

As the day and heat expands, the tribe grows. Greetings are brief and all scramble to erect their homes, hoarding was shade the desert offers. In this distance, the music begins and the tribe and the other tribes begin to walk slowly towards the bowl. It is a special time when all who pass greet and share and and exchange gifts of smoke and advise of what is to come.

And with the slow parade to the bowl, the festival begins, dust rises, fragrant scents fill the desert area. The scene is primal, if you can see past the RV’s and electronic. The wind as it did in ancient times, moves the flags and carries the sounds of of the festival.

The Festival of Joshua Tree has begun and we all wait to dance in magic dust.

Sometime the next morning, the sun and the wind and the desert reminds us of where we are and who holds court. The tribe slowly gathers, eyes bleary to the smell of bacon and cold beer. They are ready to repeat what they have prepared for, they prepare for the night and the cool and the Boom Wow of the desert Festival

Arab Woman on a Swedish Train

Arab Woman on a Swedish Train

To Molly & Kyle & the warm spirit of Kayla

 

Her eyes drift open and close

as a silk veil in a desert breeze.

Outside, she sits with chilled cheek

pressed against icy glass.

bundled blonde blue eyes fill her world now.

She is tired and her eyelids are slowing the cold.

Her hair is black and skin olive

from generations of sun

and sand that reach out to warm blue seas.

Inside she is warm, inside the desert

the sand is warm,

the breeze caresses her skin

and her veils drift,

An ancient voice whispers into her ear

of the ways of the past,

the ways of the desert.

and she is warm.

The train lurches to a stop.

She awakes and can not

pull the cotton frilled scarf tight enough

to keep out bitter cold, bitter chill

of the concrete, of the blue eyes,

watching, waiting, scanning far-away aisles

for empty seats.

A man weary from his toil

thinks of faraway,

watches the last burning red of the sun

On finishing a cup of tea

 

On finishing a cup of tea

The humming bird is back,

amid fountain drops,

an silence framed,

behind this glass door.

It is warm already

Desert morning

and blue past my window.

My  room is chilled silent,

Except for the ticking of an ancient clock

just wound. Tick Tick

for a hundred years of filling ancient rooms

with Tick Tick.

All is OK and

I know you are alright.

Smile and hugs await

when I hear you rise from the cool sheets.

The humming bird is back

All I Have To Do Is Dream – Everly Brothers

Thoughts from an old song and a quiet coffee..
Dream….
To be a teenage boy
in a small town,
Early summer warm fades with the sun.
A front porch
in a small town…
and then she walks by on the sidewalk below.
A breeze, new leaves softly rustle
a whiff of perfume as she passes
and a dream…

Untitled & Confused

It is not going well
the souffle is collasping
the path ahead is closing in
Overgrown with vines that can’t be cut away.
*****
There is a galaxy of beauty
in the twinkle of a snowflake
A drape of velvet
over shoulders of fairies
who toast cheery mead
at long table, ripe with plenty.
*******
As I pass
a hand reaches out toward me,
a fairies hand grasps a ciboria
lid lifted to reveal
two crossed spice leaves
and aureole from a single ripe berry
topped with a single sparkle of honey.
******
Ancient strings, faint sounds
drift cross still blue waters
I am sitting on a single rock
and patient wait for a passing ship.

Some days we forget

*
*
Independence Day
In a soggy ditch,
clenched flintlock and face
caked with mud, and a dream filled
With a farm and children and smell of baked pie,
He lay still, watching overhead with one eye
As proud gloss booted soldiers march,
sun red uniforms trimmed in black
march overhead, proudly down the center of a dirt road
eyes forward and the silence of thought
***
In a shell hole filled with wet and filth
A G.I. lies silent, dreaming of a Saturday night
And a pretty girl in pigtails and full pack of Lucky Strikes
While jack booted troops from a thousand miles away
grey and silence against a grey French country morn,
march overhead, eyes forward and the silence of thought
***
In oven sweat heat, pressed tight against an ancient stone wall,
A soldier weighted down by the supplies of war,
watches a scorpion scramble useless up a sand hill
and he listens for the silence of the men rushing past
strange men who have come from the hills
to kill him and his brothers.
***
Today is our day of Independence
A day someone has laid chilled in a ditch to end our suppression
A day some dirt stranger felt it was better to die
so others could be Jews or gypsies
or not live of fear of what they read or
what they uttered in a tiny coffee café.
Our own children bravely passed through every stone portal
Expecting the flash of unseen bomb,
of the piercing burn of a waiting bullet
Our children crossed half a world away
So those who would slaughter us, slaughter their own
could be punished and crushed,
by the rights and equalities
we hold so dear, so self-evident.
Whether they lay in a muddy ditch 225 years in the past
or bury deep in a shell hole pit of mud,
Each unnamed soul, men and women, young and old, brothers, sisters, fathers and daughters,
fought against those who would take away this day
This day of our Independence

Anticipation of Joy

To know true joy,
You must know sorrow.
I have had enough bad dreams,
To see joy breaking
Like a palette of color,
Like a sunrise

In a child’s eye.

-Eduardo Barbudo from Liberdad de Sueno Libre