Tag Archives: wander

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

Spark’d

Sparking Beedies
Through the state of Hormuz
Considering the children I keep employed
Tying tiny green strings
Around tobacco leaves

Piracy warnings
Lights off on the decks
To pretend to confuse
And thwart grappling hooks
Avoid a dramatic turn

Maneuvering fast around
Sheep, minarets and sand dunes

Lanyards grant passage
Indicated by satellite
I’ll hide in the solarium
or perhaps the engine room

Next to acetylene tanks and greek captains
With nautical miles unequaled to date
“1 point to port”
To provide mathematicians a hobby
As statisticians a muse

Auctioneers work quicker than cartographers
And even faster than a bullet trains
Who at least have the decency to stop
At stations from time to time
To allow the slow minds
Needed moments to breathe

Ship to Shore Communiqué

The buoys past behind
Soon this seabirds surrender
Pilot boat gives way
To empty depths beyond

Muslim Minarets
and Portuguese forts
Equally fade to gray
Prayer calls too far away

Gangway long
Tucked in belly
Can’t lean over railing
With a foreign cigar
Due to Pirates seeking
A life of spoil

Ocean Haze

Ocean haze gives way
To Orion stringing his bow
To hunt hearts and wild boar
For a cappuccino empress
So divine she must be Nepali

The earnest one encourages perspective
Unforced and transcending documentation
To story to art to community
The pinnacle of us all
All of us

The landscape defines culture
Culture determines our fate
We evolved slowly from the mountaintops
Now deep undersea
Awaiting earthquakes

We slip over depth sounding
To gauge the draft
Through a gauntlet
Or derrick isles

Freighters preferred to skirt
Ransom-seeking buccaneers
Laden with weapons from a
Floating armory

Pistachios for Bedouins

Pistachios for Bedouins
Origins delineated by headscarves
Indications of savagery
Evidence of restraint

Ancestors exactly one hundred years ago
Today
When marshes were laden with water fowl
And the deserts were undrained

The driest valleys
Criss crossed by salt water canals
Providing Sultanic dhows
Passageways to escape
The confines of destiny
And loneliness

Escape tyranny of washing plates
Just throw overboard
Settle next to treasure
And sunken containers
On the ocean floor

Rainy Mystery Alley

For reasons i don’t understand myself
I dream of downtowns i will never visit
I prefer to exist in tiny villages with a
Efficient post office, perfect cafe and bakery
Next to a bookshop with stationary
Fresh pencils and inky pens

But when i try (i only try) to sleep
Rocked by tracks or waves
Or a simulation of above
I am high collared coat and
Woolen scarf
Lost in a city i am unsure about

Devoid of knowledge or expectations
Tucking down alleys so narrow
I can touch each side
Intuition leads me to a diner or bar
With 8 seats or less
A barman asks me to finish a top-shelf bottle
So he can finally restock
Entirely impolite not to oblige

A lady en route to work asks me nervously
And tells me her real name without request
Immigrant dishwasher asks for five for a smoke
On the rainy stoop

Favorite music i’ve never heard
Faded enka ballads, and low fado
Improvised bass notes
From the Arco hotel

When i leave, only the lights gently undim,
As a gracious hint
Misty rain invariably falls
I steady with a cane rather than an umbrella
Which simply neglects the senses
Of acute tactility

Neither warm nor chill
Wool and silk release a fragrance
Of countryside hounds
And afternoon farm toil
The trousers are pressable to show again
A crisp crease and a scarf doubles as a hint
Of elegance and distracts from leather boots,
Muddied atop polish from a dirt road monsoon of
The non-fiction chapter of erstwhile reality