Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Alone In The Woods

Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.
~ John Muir

There was no path

Needles had fallen from the pines, sunburnt bronze covering the forest floor

Stepping lightly

I embraced the quiet and all the creatures that I knew were there

But did not see

I told them stories, a traveler's tale

Of empty places, desolate towns and worried minds


The woodland animals, they do not know, they will never see

What I see

They know more than I

As they move about these woods, noses in the wind

exploring, hunting, imagination

They know their place

I sat listening; a lodgepole pine had a secret

I wasn't afraid

I'm not lonely

I'm not dispirited

Or disheartened

In nature, I am loved

I was alone in the woods

It held me.



Monday, October 5, 2015

A Vagabond Heart

I'm always running behind the time
Just like this train
Shaking into town
With the brakes complaining
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose

And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free

Now I'm transcontinental 3000 miles from my home
I'm on the California Zephyr watching America roll by
My route. Leaving from Union Station in Denver, Colorado. All aboard!!
Settle down into the clickety clack
With the clouds and the stars to read
I'm rocking away in a sleeping car
We all know Dylan's got a vagabond heart
My little brother, Jeff, probably singing a train song of his very own...
A mural on a side street wall in the dusty train town of Laramie, Wy
And these rocks and these cactus going by...
My other route, along the California coast, aboard the Coast Starlight
Steel rails, chasing sunshine round the bend
Winding through the trees, like a ribbon in the wind

Watch the PBS American Experience History series, Riding The Rails. My dad was one of these kids.
It presents the poignant and little-known story of teen hobos during the 1930's, a time of desperation and bitter hardship. These young itinerant Americans were all searching for a better life; what they found was a mixture of freedom, camaraderie, misery, and loneliness.

"One house had marks on it indicating that the people were generous with hoboes. We stopped, the lady gave us work to do, then served us food. We appreciated her good food and kindness so much that we pitched in and cleaned her yard including flower beds."
Speaking of kind lady's, when my dad was a small boy, his own mother had a sign in their yard indicating "a kind woman lives here." She'd make them sandwiches and while they ate, my dad would sit there asking them all kinds of questions. Right then and there, little Bobby knew just what he wanted to do...
The caboose on the wall mural in Laramie, Wy
There's prob'ly rich folks eatin'
In a fancy dining car
They're prob'ly drinkin' coffee
And smokin' big cigars
I don't mind not knowing what lies down the track

Cause I'm Looking out ahead, to keep my mind from turning back

My brother, Glenn, wrote a song about a train trip our parents had taken us on, a million years ago.
I was 7 years old. All the way from California to Maine. We've had train fever ever since. Listen....


My father always said that the sound of a train whistle is in his blood.

He signs his book, Ridin' Free, like this.


See you all somewhere further down the line! ==================>>