Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trip North

I was in Cincinnati last week. Drove up for a few reasons. I was unable to go a month ago because of my shoulder, and I needed a baby fix. I also wanted to test out some backpacking equipment with my son.

The girls are really growing, and the little one was so funny. When I held her and kissed her on the head she would look at me and lean over for more. Melts the heart! Both girls were just a joy.
The day hiking went well. The wild flowers were blooming, and the trail along the lake was clear. The hill trail had not been cleaned off, so going over the blow downs were a problems.

Went by the old neighborhood, and saw the house where I lived. Looked smaller than I remember.

Not much to tell, so I’ll share some pictures, and a poem I wrote about when, like all boys, I couldn’t wait to grow up.


Most days in the city
I’d look out the window at
the chain link fence
in the back yard.

It seemed to be
a few feet away.
My own stalag.
The end of the world.

So I’d bang the keys
on the old Royal,
escaping into the
white paper.

Tastes that had not been tasted.
Seas that had not been sailed.
Loss that had not been lost.

Sitting there I’d wait
and wait, for life to catch up
to my dreams.

Robert W. Kimsey

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

City Thoughts

I drove out of the mountains on Monday for a few days back in the city. While I was having my shoulder problems the wife made the trip and was able to do some business and get baby kisses, and I was jealous, so I decided I needed to head out for a few days.

Each time I get close on these trips I break out in a cold sweat as the traffic closes in, and the noise level increases. When I worked in the heart of the city it wasn’t that bad, and I liked the excitement of it all, but I guess I have been in the mountains to long.

So, on the agenda for today is to see some co-workers, spend some time at the book store, and of course have my chi at the Starbucks where I spent many a morning working on poems.

Have a wonderful day. Here’s a poem, and maybe it will get you to thinking about what it would be like to drive through your old neighborhood.

Arbor Day Trees

I ride through the old neighborhood
seeing the Arbor Day trees.
All mature, like the children
who carried them home
wrapped in newspaper, like a trophy
dug their beds with small hands
watered them that first time.

Both had bright futures ahead.

I see the sickness in some branches,
others only a stump, cut down before full grown.
Some dead inside, still trying to reach the sun,
while some thrive in the city on little soil
and stretch across the concrete canyon,
over parked cars, touching,
like the forgotten children, holding hands
listening for echoing voices in the wind
playing Hide and Seek on quiet summer nights.

Ollie Ollie in come free.

Robert W. Kimsey 2009

Friday, April 9, 2010

Waiting and Praying

If you know what the picture to the right is, then you probably have done some caving, or you know a family member who worked in the mines.

In the old days this type of carbide lamp was used on a hat. Water was put in the top portion, and carbide was held in another part of the lamp. The water dripping caused a chemical reaction, a gas was formed, and a striker ignited it for light.

I saw my lamp in the wood shop yesterday, and then thought of the miners dead and trapped in West Virginia. I know that you will join me in prayers for them and their families. As of today they have checked one safe place without finding the remaining miners, and are drilling another shaft to insert a camera.

My heart goes out to the families, and my prayers are for their comfort and that more lives will be saved.

You may have read this poem before, but I think it is appropriate for today and this time.

Hard Lessons

Daddy said the first day on the job you learn the rules.

If your lunch bucket gets left topside you’re out of luck
unless the next team brings it down, and if the roof starts
to fall, YOU RUN. You run like Billy-be-damned for daylight.
You don’t stop for nothin.

You run like the devil hisself is breathing that cold, damp,
black air down your neck. You run for the shaft
or the outside as fast as you can.

If you ain’t used up all your luck and you make it to daylight
then you can turn around and look who’s behind you, then
you wait for the count and see who’s not.

That day the bell-rock almost got Daddy, blowed his hat off,
he come home after the siren, stood in the door of our house
on the Big Sandy, white eyes staring from his black face.

Then he come over to me and slapped me hard.
I could see the tears makin creeks on his cheeks,
and he pointed his finger at me and whispered,
”Dammit Boy, you ain’t never goin in a mine.”

Robert W. Kimsey