What a wonderful last few months I’ve had.
It started with the completion of a bucket list item. I had planned a hike across Big Frog Mountain for some time, and the opportunity came along, and my friend Michael and I set out on what would be a few great days of hiking and an opportunity to camp on the top of the mountain. The weather was great with the only set-back being the dry springs after Double Spring Gap, so we had to carry water for the night and the following day until we made it to the base of the mountain and a good stream where we could filter water. I had one sip of water left when we finally found a clear deep place to stock up. I think the count on bears seen or heard was five. The night we spent on the top was highlighted by the coyotes coming into camp and talking among themselves about this intrusion.
My next adventure was a trip to Charleston South Carolina. I’m not shy about what writers I like, and Pat Conroy is one of them. Linda had seen an article in one of her magazines and had cut out the list of his favorite places, so we made it a point to see some of those. We walked south of Broad, and I took pictures of the houses, then we walked between the houses to see some of the hidden gardens there. I hope to find some poems in my notes and pictures this winter. We found the Blue Bicycle, a book store with a wonderful poetry selection. I could have spent the rest of the day there, but after awhile the looks from my traveling companions told me we had to move on. No, really they were very kind when I wanted to brouse or take pictures. Well, they had to be, because I did sit and watch the ladies run through the Straw Market. ( How can two people shop so much and buy so little?) Chalk that up to another difference between men and women. Oh, and I also visited Ft. Sumter. The ride out and the information was great fun. And if you want some of the best seafood, and a great place to eat it, Hyman's is top notch. One big disappointment. I went there mainly to see a ship just like the one I served on, but it was in dry dock, I didn’t get to see it, but heck what a great excuse to go back. Charleston is now officially one of my favorite places.
Last weekend Linda and I went up to Lake Cumberland and stayed at the lodge for the annual meeting of the Kentucky State Poetry Society. I had not seen some of those folks for a few years, and it was wonderful to see them. The highlight of my times with them are the readings in the evenings when we all sit in a circle and read until someone decides to call it a night and we agree. It is fantastic to see the growth and hear the new poems. Like all such societies KSPS is going through a time of member decline. I suspect it will change, but we as older poets need to get the word out that poetry matters.
Well, that’s just about it for an update. I wanted to get my book finished and my audio book completed before the end of October, but it was a good summer and fall, and I’ve collected some ideas that I think will grow into a poem or two. I hope you have also. The trees have turned here in the mountains, and while I don’t look forward to winter, I do look forward to putting words on paper and seeing what they become.
Guess you can tell it has been a good few months, by the number of "greats" I have used in this writing. Forgive me!
I’ve been working on this poem for some time, and after I left Charleston it came together for me. Maybe it will be longer, or maybe not.
What if there was a day
Long after I had seen you,
and you had come closer
Long after I realized it wasn’t an hallucination
After you had let me touch your hair,
We both realized it wasn’t the siren song, but love
That brought us back to the water’s edge.
Then with the kiss
The knowing that one would need to make the sacrifice
Knowing that the pain of the transformation
Could never be as bad as the separation.