Tag Archives: Lost

A Catographer, I Considered (prose poem)

A Cartographer, I Considered

Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

Spectacled, heavy on a rosy face, hidden among stacks, drawing inventions of maps – delineating frontiers between playful apparatchik and fields where the healthy and husky scrambled games I couldn’t be bothered to learn the constructed rules of play.

Naming regions of gravel and grass in derivations of Iowa towns and possibly Balkan enclaves. Tracing roads across trucking routes and Roman ruins built to the width of chariot wheels-cemented as standards for mine entrance bringing a horse to shores, away from relations to new lives, absent from home still never known beyond memories, Serio-graphed into filtered ideals.

Yet an unsteady hand and overall disconnect, or even indifference, which led to a place to “settle” – build a house from logs, and seasoned by time, after hewn, nailed and assembled by saw blade and heavy sludge, forged by a possible cousin who always remain a stranger. The blade remains anonymous as an un-muttered pithy quote en route to cliché.

Neither did exploding suns, brilliant and fleeting, assembled in patterns, ~ shared by the patient and measured in Newtonian units – still could not muster a journey – hence gazed, but ignored as impractical, nigh impossible.

Translucent layers, super-imposed and stacked, detailing azimuths, trajectories and elevations – separating fertile valleys (though subject to floods) from talus slopes too steep but for mountain rams on the shady flank of Timpanogos. 

Dotted dashed and surveyed, specific dots explained in legend denoting assigned capitals, provincial outposts, and occasionally hamlets determined by polled populations, overseen with constructed superintendents, supported by varying address of retainers. 

Intrigued by absence of obvious order though not my task to chart. 

Instead, as per instinct, selected and committed to memory, devoid of context, thin slices of knowledge swirling in a petri vacuum – accurate as such, but irrelevant 

So i journeyed to wonder about likely motivations which took Normans, Pharaohs and troubadours beyond the point of unknown return. Capes left in wakes with dates and hard-track to fortify a quest alleged to diagram flora.

Among them, I reference guide notes from decades past – as vague as possible to acquire allowing white-space and risk. Packed in burlap next to a survivor’s stove and pouch of seeds and spices and an important black pencil. Only planned to go one way, impartial to return rather to chronicle the unfamiliar.

The familiar left far behind as physics might allow – exchanged possible comfort in normalcy for uncertainty contentment in ambiguity. Meandering concentric routes, devoid of patterns or ready purpose. 

Answers are easier in cliché, ergo:

“I’ll know when i get there” – 

Town to creek to roadside conundrum – I swirled each in mouth , pretending my palette featured a vocabulary to explain to unseeing why I hadn’t settled for seemingly ideal locales, situations and specific circumstance to flourish.

Eventually, after farm toil, beach frolic, rough nights in dangerous morass, leaping turrets of ruins and painful heaving, missed junctions and forgotten aims, at a campfire in a lake-forest with a khaki-scout familiarity, I stumbled through an unfavourable gale, onto the intended coast 

I mocked myself for misnamed non-discoveries, i assumed as fragrant promised lands of plenty allowed to the intrepid erstwhile accidental navigators. 

Teased over misread hieroglyphics and misappropriated meaning to stone wheels quarried a far, hauled by double-hulled craft powered by taro and current and fickle breeze.

I could no longer mock with unearned disdain, the vaunted and faulted explorers, stolen secrets leading to some anomaly errantly pro-claimed as new or proper or divine. 

Earnestly deterred, i occurred to map a universe of flesh and thought. Breath and sounds assembled into meaning. 

The crease on cheek, the measure of brow, the angle of toes, magnitude of halo surrounding chameleon eyes and the mysterious enthusiasm of all which exists between.

Thwarted, not by scenery but by shaking confessions, fumbled after a stealth crossing at an indifferent frontier town. I’d escaped to my holy land I presumed for an instant before minor catastrophe. 

Stalled at an unwelcoming inn where i laid myself bruised and bare to a lover temporarily transformed to a stranger after i let the truth languish, vanquished by the uncertainty of resolved and fear or wounding the occasionally innocent. 

She walked out vested, blithely, pithy saying “I know” unwittingly perhaps offering just enough loft to push a tattered sail across a colour-coded sea mis-named as somewhere calm. 

The explorer hides. Alone, entirely lost and surrendered to fates incomprehensible to the battered. Uncontrollable by the hostage. Yet clinging to an adrenaline determination to manufacture strength to another foray. 

Monk-like, minus faith, discipline, dogma or skill at ringing bells, relying on rice gruel and fragrant hope, the cartographer gathered charcoal, fired for unsteady hands, and a redrew boundaries to conceive an entirely new Pangea with concessions to speculate, plunder and charts assigned exclusively to only two.

daveo, Oct. 2017 North Pacific, bound southward

 

Riff: Ghosts of Festive Losts {Christmas Any/no/elsewhere}

Sometimes you feel like a person left in the “lost luggage” room… You sit, you wait for the person to come ~ sometimes someone comes by but for another reason and you just sit and you wait. Eventually, a train comes, sometimes you find a seat, sometimes with window and you go.

Ghosts of Festive Losts – you wait, sometimes miracles arrive or ring or you are just lost (Lanka 2017)

Other times, a friend is someone who comes to help you for a rather different purpose than the “help you seek“ yet somehow, maybe unbeknownst to you & them, they help & you appreciate, admiration is mutual, then each drift into life, better than before, or at least different.

I’ve spent more Christmases {or whatever} either working jobs, in hospitals, lost alone, holed up in hotels, hiding in cabins, or movie theatres, on road hitching, or with strangers etc. than have with family or familiar. Best stories. Fortunately none in jail. Hear you if alone.

Tradition is what you are doing in the present tense.

Every moment a spectacular event.

You are a miracle, truly, enjoy.

Thankful: a Postcard to Pals

Hello You,

Having the best year somehow / full of gratitude for surprising treats, healthy lad, remarkable wife, poetry flowing, paintings regarded, a cottage abode, archives in a sturdy hidden fortress.

So many years lost/hiding in various wildernesses & now pure joy + wonder. (I live with pain but matters less). #grateful

Fondly, dvo/UW

#daveo50 ~ 2016 / 50 years > days > photos

Dave Olson, 2016 #daveo50
#daveo50 ~ 2016 / for passport, visa, or other ID

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when    the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2016 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 2014 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 2014 / Austin, TX

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2014 / 50 years > days > photos

Lost Bookshop / poem in process (typed), 2019

Lost Bookshop / poem in process (typed), 2019

Artifact: Lost Keys etc (various) – location unknown

Lost Keys etc (various) – location unknown

Forgotten Village – Annapurna Sunrise

The cook pot is blackened
But you easily clean up the mess
With gritty river mud scraped
From your stream of consciousness

Wander up an invisible path
Even the elders don’t know it
Chasing a mysterious girl
Named after an ancient poet

I can’t see her footprints
But I see her shining eye
In the constellations high
Above the blue night sky

Reflection in the mountain lake
Shows me growing worn
But I blink three times quickly
And see that I’m reborn

There’s wisdom plainly hidden
On the edge of mountain cliffs
Stories shared by ancients
Around campfires, becoming myths
Books don’t capture the secrets
For truth look deep into teacups

In this forgotten village
They’re made of bone and marrow
Stubborn as a donkey
Rugged as the buffalo
Giving love like sacred Amma

Monk chants echo through valleys
Low, soft and precise
Repeated through centuries
Many times ever since
Taught by a lost wanderer
With no interest in being found

Prayer flags amplify
Take noble words higher
Attenuate on a frequency
Improbable to detect by wire

I will always return here
Flying high like a hawk or sparrow
Won’t tell you the village name
You find it when you’re able

The maps might give a clue
But not the right directions
You’ll only find the magic
By following inner vision

In the forgotten village
This village is forgotten
Deliberately mistaken
Not meant for finding
Books reveal their secrets
Obvious in endless myth
Your own forgotten village

annapurna - village - house

Flood’d

Home is something i’ve never known
I only how to go, go far
by train by van by thumb by plane
by my weary legs with viking calves

To be clear, from grade 1 through 4
I lived in the same house
Near a Guildford forest
Now a shopping mall
I built tree forts with abandoned lumber
Explored burned out wreckage across the dirt lane
Where i found a rusty hammer handle
Charred with reason unseen

Since then, no where longer
than three years
i don’t count the places
as i can’t determine a criteria
what’s to be included
when all is transitory

Motels for months
Uninvited couch surf for a season
Roommates unwanted
A parked van for happy nights

Years when tents and tarps
Out-counted a solid roof room
I can light a fire in the rain
Just can’t put it out

Communes, communities and rest area
wooded campout national parks
thwarting eviction by limitations
by rangers claiming beachlands
as their authority

Destinations not near as important
as the ways and the means

Frankly i’m not particular
but partial to somewhere calm
of transport conveyance
public or private
not as interesting as dirty or clean
and most often importantly
slow, or at least not deliberately swift
though speedy and secure will suffice

Some ramblers love airports
the commotion and details
i shut off senses and try to avoid
conversations with strangers
who looks like me

Give me the awkward lost ones
the folks fumbling through
not the seasoned jaded sharpy
others can interrupt train tables
whereas i can only figure
north or south
from the town i leave
and when it might arrive
Noting: if overnight, make sure stops after 9
when the coffee shops are open
workers on their way
i’ll pause to fill a cup with cream
stir in too much sugar
for false hope and energy

I wrote instructions for other to hitchhike
must add a disclaimer to ensure no damage
i can’t be held responsible for randomness
rushing highway on-ramps, just hold a sign

While a freighter stateroom is ideal
an empty cabin might have to do
to peer out the porthole
and see the same sea each day

Fringed by sand or trees or
ports requiring approval
inky stamps are a weakness
and to think 100 years ago
a passport was rather absurd
of course you are from elsewhere
present yourself
because they already know you are here
commit to your cover story
whether lies or truth indifferent

Just become who you say
before it catches up with you

Post’d: Artifacts from likely forgotten places

Artifacts from likely forgotten places. Resurrected with fresh stories augmented with inky pens, broken typewriters, scissors and glue. Possibly sent to you.

Hand-crafted directional advisements

Handcrafted design inspiration – simple, clear, colourful. .

Trainspotting: VIA Rail’s “the Ocean” Heads Out of Moncton, New Brunswick

The VIA Rail train “The Ocean” – from which i just disembarked – pulls out of Moncton, New Brunswick heading west towards Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

This train is Viarail’s The Ocean which goes between Montreal and Halifax… In this case, dumping me off in Moncton, New Brunswick (from Truro, Nova Scotia) last summer when I explored eastern/maritime Canada seeking a new home Unsuccessfully — I did find many find communities between Montréal’s mile end, Quebec City, Halifax’s north end, St. John’s Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia… to name a few but turns out I’m #Pacific through and through. Note: met wonderful people in each place… So much more #friendly & open than #Vancouver indeed – also way way thriftier place to find a home and exist.

Swipe for multiple views of this fine (by 1960s standards anyway) conveyance.