Tag Archives: wander

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

Plotting paths of poets and painters past

Plotting paths of poets past, noting inter-disciplinarianism is key to creating context to encapsulate your content (as it were).

Write letters, fill sketch books, scrapbooks of ephemera, journals of nothings, tear sheets from magazines, pilfer coasters and brochures, collect the uncollectible, document the mundane. Look down, crawl and fall. Photograph your tears.

##

Van Gogh’s travels informed the works we revere today.
By Gina Barton via Vox.com

 

Support Wandering Artists, who wander well

A reminder to support the pursuits of your local wandering artists. Oft quoted, “Not all who wander are lost…” {but some of us are, intentionally}.

Ergo: Not running away from something but strolling towards something, maybe noted upon finding. Maybe not. Wander on, document, create, share. Good shoes are a bonus, but don’t let them fool you into stopping. Beware imposters, the self-proclaimed et al. #drifton

Looking for a Direction

Vincent at the age of nineteen

Schoolboy, junior clerk at an art firm, teacher, bookseller, student and preacher: Vincent van Gogh was all of these before he decided at the age of 27 to become an artist. That decision would change the history of art forever.

‘I heard from Pa that you’ve already been sending me money without my knowing it, and in doing so are effectively helping me to get along. For this accept my heartfelt thanks.’

Vincent to Theo, Brussels, 2 April 1881

Transportation: Philippines – Going Elsewhere, via various modes

Rambling around Philippines via various modes (but not all possible means by any means) of transportation including trike/tuktuk, car, van… plus observing traffic, jeepneys, busses and so on. This is all. Just watching the road and scenes, as-it-is.

Mementos: Japan Hitch-hiking journey flashback

Japan hitch-hiking: holding a sign for Muroto in the southern tip of Shikoku
Japan hitch-hiking: holding a sign for Muroto in the southern tip of Shikoku

In 1993-4, I worked as a mushroom farmhand in Tottori-ken (prefecture), a rather remote area of Japan (southwestern-ish Honshu). The work was long and arduous and the boss was a jerk so, I eventually split unannounced one day.

Determined to explore some of the country before my visa ran out, I stuck my thumb-out seeking a “bouken” (adventure) after making destination signs by copying place name kanji characters onto 100 yes store notebooks with crayon and decorating with some lucky words and stamps (not sure if this helped).

Hitch-hiking isn’t very common in Japan but by sticking to rural areas – including the traditional “o henrosan dori” (the pilgrim’s path) on Shikoku (the smallest of the 4 main islands of the Japanese archipelago) which has seen many wandering poets, seekers and prayers over centuries – I skidded along alright.

Getting rides in the country areas was usually rather quick but often times, the ride would insist of showing “hospitality” in form of taking to their hometown to show off “the thing their town is famous for” (of which every town has one thing). Not ideal for fast moving but well… the take the ride, you go where it goes. Getting between big cities along the expressways was much less enjoyable and relied on waiting around rest/service areas in these cases.

I pitched my small tent most anywhere (beaches, shrines, parks etc) much the chagrin of caretakers and so on who would scold aloud in the early hours. In these situations, I poked my shaggy head out of the tent flap and yammered confused apologies in my farmer Japanese – this tactic would usually confuse the situation into submission.

Some of the time I was accompanied by a mysterious and intrepid Japanese surfer girl who thought my ridiculous plan was worth trying. I liked this part.

What follows are a few pieces of photographic evidence from these journeys, snapped with an early generation panorama camera – but developed “normal aspect” hence black framing bars on some shots.

Japan hitch-hiking: this ride insisted on a side trip to his hometown which featured a natural water source hot enough to boil eggs (in a mesh pouch) - also made said eggs rather smelly
Japan hitch-hiking: this ride insisted on a side trip to his hometown which featured a natural water source hot enough to boil eggs (in a mesh pouch) – also made said eggs rather smelly

Continue reading Mementos: Japan Hitch-hiking journey flashback

Car(e)-free Sound Stroll – Urban Vancouver #8

A walk around various car-free day festivals in Vancouver, 2008 with unedited soundstream of drum circles, live bands of various sorts (including several numbers by a Grateful Dead inspired band, a free jazz combo, a protesting singer-songwriter, and a Latin-esque outfit…), plus skateboards, slam poets, and a bassoon quartet playing “hockey night theme” among other tunes.

Wander along for: Car(e)-free Sound Stroll – Urban Vancouver #8 (51:49, 75MB, 192k .mp3)

Podfeed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/UrbanVancouver

Continue reading Car(e)-free Sound Stroll – Urban Vancouver #8

Bosphorus Float (poem in process)

Time Traveler (for Rod)

Cobbled busy streets
Never felt so lonely and brave
So far away from any lover
Even further from your grave

Remember you on blue highways
See you in crowded bars
Feel you at desert campfires
Where we sing you name to stars

Steady on Time Traveler
We’ll see you in a decade past
Same way we saw you in a silent film
Organ playing far too fast

See you in Paris in the twenties
Drinks with Zelda and Fitz
Or in the Cavern in sixty-two
Lounging with Pete Best

Hot water sizzles in kettles
With black and white electricity
We’ll keep an eye on your kin
As though pleasant and obligatory

We’ll bore them with the stories
Of us – young, invincible and fine
Occasionally beautiful and convinced
We’d live to at least hundred and nine

Driving with your laughs
Talking with your hands
Swerving up forgotten backroads
To a reunion with unknown friends

Everyone’s champion

Tactility of Loss

Tactility of loss
A Pantheon of pals
Ash goes to ground
Ride on endless highways
From Timpanogos
To Olympus

Underway in the Aegean
Thoughts of Odysseus
And his compatriots
Most fond and trusted

Feeling so so alone
Along on a ship of celebrant retirees
And a smattering of newlyweds
Their future i’ll never know

A teleporter does me no good
Body buried and tears all shed
While In Aqaba pretending
To be Lawrence or Wilfred

I sit with futile cigars
And a bitter drink
And wonder
Why not me?
I can count six distinct times
In a four year stretch
Where i’ve fallen with no idea
Where i’d ever be buried
Buried and rotted without a sound

Oh Rod Howard, how grateful!
I was a man without a tribe
When i found you at the center
Of everything curious
Making bonfire look like a
Mere lighter flame

Everybody’s favorite
Never an unkind word
From or about you
Making magic
Never on time
But always worth the wait

Odysseus sailed here
According to Homer
Whose existence is debated
Escaping villains in caves
Out to scheme his way to
Kindly strangers
With flagons, actual skins,
Of undiluted wine

Your children, your joy
You had no need to run away like me
All your quests took you home
To parents who understood
Your heart, head and desire
To live
Full on

The chatter around me deafening
Who do i commiserate with when
No one knows your lofty heights
Your speed, your softness
You heard me hurt and came without hesitation
Late, but just on time

Rocky coastlines await me
In the coming hours
No helipad exit could
Provide ointment

I will arrive to sit
Perhaps a picnic
At your stone
Perhaps i’ll learn the origins
Of your middle name
Maybe you’ll join me
We’ll play X cassettes on a box covered in stickers
Tom Waits warbles and we’ll make a Jim Jarmusch film
To chronicle your days
From Sunset rock in Los Angeles
To sunset trips in desert canyons
Which still echo with your laugh

I wear a Greek fisherman’s cap
And blue woven shirt
Made as coarse as burlap
For shepherds and taxi drivers

Tear it off and scream
Why you? Why now? Why this?
But no answer impending
And frankly i’d be booted from the cafe

Not a hedonist glutton madman you
Taking corners fast because
You knew the limits of your tyres
Fine tuned for performance and attributes
No one else can define
Except those of us you wrested and cajoled
Invited next to you

These rocky headlands
Come into view
As the ship horn bellows a lament
Now as low as my sinking Mediterranean heart
The blue sea unworthy of my unholy
Reflections of me a mortal
Always running towards something you found
Right at home

I snap a photo of a saddest angler
Who never held a Rod
As sleek and strong as you
Held together glue, sounds
Cracking against the bluest sunset

##

Rod Ash 1969-2017
Big brother to us all

Towards the Yangtze (poem + pictogram)

Poem: Yangtze Morning, cards (handwritten)
Poem: Yangtze Morning, cards (handwritten)+

1

4AM Shanghai
Me, insomniatic as usual
Watching light rise
Through pollution skies
To illuminate building designed
By a committee of Dr. Seuss, Salvador Dali and MC Escher

The ship pulls out through endless gauntlet
of all the ships in the world
Each their own world
Tiny houses on giant barges, flags, cigarette and a wave

2

Yangtze River wide
As a sound
Cozy as an African watering hole
Herds of barges graze
Like wildebeests wary to fall into stampede
When hyena party boats of wedding revellers disappear into dark,
Moored behind elephant cruisers
The bulls wait beyond the marsupial floating dry docks
Holding wounded deer craft
Under gaze of manicured obedient flocks
Of bobbing cranes
Feeding vibes into yawning hippos accustomed to melons
Catamaran racers lean into wind, puny sailors lean to balance for the watches and cameras
As peacocks might
Beneath windmills grindingly faraway wheat

3

The wagon trail of floaters
Parade through river intersections
Obeying crackled jargon appointing times – subject to change
From typhoons, tainted waters, tides and an abundance of caution
And negotiation
Then the dispatch arrives
And like preschoolers, holding a string
The horizon redefines with tankers
Containers, cruisers, scoopers, prospectors, fighters, seekers, and free radicals
Bearing industrial names
Referred by diligent tugs
Pilots breakwater boundaries
And the wake and buoys ahead
Soon they will diverge to transient paths
Using similar charts
And common codes