Olympic Peninsula Beach–How To Miss A Highway

To get to the beach, we hike

Through the smell of pine

So thick, we can taste it.

The trail is carpeted with needles–

We think we’re the first humans

To arrive on a new planet.

Trees older than Columbus

With golden brown skin, black bark, tar

Pillars of a wild palace.

The sound of Highway 101

Fades behind us, reminds us

Where we came from

Aberdeen, Long Beach, Astoria

The cozy rainfall of Portland

 

 

Then it stretches before us

That untamed beach,

Ocean, greyed-out by sky reflection.

Sand, a mess, tossed, turned.

The raw shore, green, dense

Mangled, perfect.

The wind, never ceases

If it did, it would be Armageddon

Heaven, or science fiction

Which are the same things

As far as the peninsula is concerned

 

We have our backpacks on.

Nylon and aluminum, easily bent and torn.

The infrastructure.

Yet, they hold freeze-dried ice cream

Dried pad thai with tofu

Foam pads, a pipe and a little stash

The bare essentials.

At night, we tie our packs to tree limbs,

in case of tofu eating bears

Stoner cougars, sweet tooth coyotes

A wildlife piñata

 

The rain hit

This is no Portland sprinkle

This is a northern coastal drenching.

We set up the tarps, plastic sheets

With nylon rope, rocks as anchors

Tucked ourselves in, wedged against wind

Until the morning arrives

As grey as the ocean

Our supplies gone, the tree limb too

Our backpacks found strewn

In the shrubs

 

My car keys, safely in my pocket

jab my leg.

We listen for the highway.

 

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The Ocean Welcomes Me Back

She knows me.

Though, I haven’t seen

All that she is…..

All her anger and angst

Frozen at times, treacherous.

I know her

From the safety of my footing.

She can pull me, She pulls me, I am pulled

Not by ebb, but by longing

A craving for our meeting.

She allows me to see her.

I am but painted doll

Easily tripped into a fall.

We are cyclic, together.

Friends as we are

 

I see her placid face

Fierce, reflecting sky.

Her cheeks aged, rippled

As they were at the beginning.

She’s my crone

My witch of calm

Curled slightly

With wavy hair

Rebelling,,,,,

The straightening of her tides.

Her voice, mesmerized magnetic

To my metal ears.

Grounded by emotion

She nudges me

To a rhythm depth tone.

My womb vibrates

With her motion

At the same time

I am her birth.

 

Her movement is mine

I am she, like her,

The invertebrate

With liquid body

Skin of whatever color

You wish to call me

We are deep in wrappings

Around dense mineral

Earthen cultrate creatures

Terrestrial mud makers

That simple creation act

Pottery, clay, and figure

Shaped by moisture

Solidified by solar storm.

 

I feel like she is forever

Whose depths

I know by kindred.

We raise our spirits

(For me, this once)

To mist and cloud

Transform, evaporate

Until our salt

Is yanked from our souls

And we fall

To new fawns

of phosphorescence

 

 

If I were to say

“Listen to her”

You would have

Already heard

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Bandaged — Elan Mudrow Photography

North Head Lighthouse, Washington State

This is a LINK. This is another LINK.

elanmudrow@gmail.com

via Bandaged — Elan Mudrow Photography

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A Small Movement

Photo by Elan

There is a time when you know

That you have loved

With such depth….that

The effect of that sense,

Its peaks and its lows,

Lovely affections and soft underbelly

Fuses to your bones

Becomes the art of your limbs

 

It is the meat of you

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Peaceful Shit

Backyard Fountain

The doors are open

Yet, it’s silent

I should hear children…

The ones of the neighborhood

Screaming at play

Or the voice of Mr. Rush

In his backyard

Talking on his cell

About installing water pumps.

Where’s the lawn mowers

The Leaf blowers

And the loud men who mind them?

What’s up with the street man

Digging for bottles in the recycling bin?

Is he taking the day off?

Spanky the spaniel should be barking.

Mr. Fry should be meowing

rubbing my leg for food.

Where’s my neighbor

The chronic door slammer at?

I swear there’s an art to the door slam.

What about those two who argue

Over their fences

While trading tomatoes and beats?

And that incessant car alarm

That nobody seems to know

How to turn off? Where’s it at?

What happened to the occasional drunk

Searching for his girlfriend

From the bar a block away?

Has he missed his cue?

 

What’s this peaceful shit doing here?

 

Oh, there’s Spanky’s bark

And the start of a new argument.

Tomatoes are doing good this year.

Beats? Not so good.

Just when I thought things were getting good.

 

 

Good shit never lasts long

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Share The Dirt

Photo by Elan

Once, flowers were placed in gun barrels

As a form of protest.

Today, a garden is needed

To keep the soil of the meadow

Soft enough for all feet to walk upon

Barefoot

 

We grow in common ground.

Share the dirt.

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Adolescent Tongue

Photo of the Eagle Creek Fire provided by Oregon Live

Haze is in our voice,

Wraps the air in orange

Our mouths taste of ash

From heat and dryness

Encircling our throats

We speak through filters

We become speechless

 

 Our voice is smoke

As the sun turns colors

A Pumpkin glow, fluttering

Our talk is like cinders

Composed of dark cumulus

Layers bound inside bark

Released…we become confused

 

We seek the onshore flow

The lucid linear spoken spell

That quells our child tongue

Who claims immortality

Even if just for a second.

To deny the child

That sparks within us…for

It is us who light the dark.

The moth is eaten by flame….gone

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Aftereffects Of Fire

Here, where fire once raged

Our voice is diminished

As if our speech leaves through

Lungs weighing only of paper

And this trail we have carved

To stand next to old giants

With charred arms

Comes with symbols and words

Revealing deepened ruts

A string of infinite finites

 

With sunburnt shoulders

We watch the eyeless sun

That harsh gardener….

Pierce through a ghost canopy

Wishing to reclaim its spent dust

Thinking only of its collection

….Cold baubles of gravity

 

All witnessed by the moon

Who never blinks once

While we lay naked

Underneath its glow

In several forms of desire

Waxing, waning,

Silver, blue, and crescent

Its face constantly upon us

 

That burning face in the night

We claim as eternal muse

And use as fire for the poetic

Inventing expressions

To lay upon Luna, leading us

To scramble and patch together

scrapings and scratches

Producing representations

Of a once noble fir

Which lies deep in our lush memories

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Bridge Over Troubled Ferns — Elan Mudrow Photography

Oregon Coast Trail, Cape Lookout. August 2017

via Bridge Over Troubled Ferns — Elan Mudrow Photography

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Nourish

Spirit Lake by Elan

Bits of straw, loose grain

Scattered on harvest floor.

Gleaned after tough rain

Of the native moon

Left nothing but tussled turf, and…..

Remnants of our hunger.

 

Those bones, crop stalks

Will bleach in encroaching,

Inedible sunlight,

Who comes

As either life or locust

Out of whose fever we shape

With thread and sticks, dream catchers

Symbols of the new planting season

Feared lost in the weather

 

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