Monday, June 23, 2008

At Night on Winterstar

Copyright 2008

There is quietness here
on this pinnacle at six thousand feet
where balsams sway in breezes
from the west
and speak to the weary traveler
in airy tones redolent
with scents of
the mountain forest at night.

The tent puffs and ripples,
the wind insistent now
the storytelling takes on
an urgent air
though the night is long
and we have eternity
here on top of this soaring
granite mound
amidst the forested giants
craggy and old.

Speaking in whispers now the wind
seems resigned
as though just another mortal
has lain here and listened and will
do naught
but listen
it sounds weary
like an old woman slowly sweeping
an endless corridor.

It sighs with
exasperation as it sweeps across
the ridges
and tumbles into the valley
and the rain comes with a soft patter
laughing at the wind
as it has since creation
crying also
for the mortal who lies
wondering at it all
wondering for a moment
until his thoughts are stilled
and he lies within the solid earth.

And the wind and the rain and the mountain
until that momentous day
when the rocks melt
and time ceases
and the wind learns
what it means
to be mortal.
and the rain laughs
no more

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Canta Libre

Copyright 2008

by Barry Yelton

Early in the morning when the sun lifts its head
above the blue horizon
and the rooster sings his atonal song,
the spirit is lifted almost absurdly
given life’s circumstance.
Here on this showy crest where blueberries grow
like crabgrass
and a grumbling black bear ambles
through, taking her fill,
I stand, breathing in the vernal air
of the new day.

A Neil Diamond song about freedom and music
runs through the morning
as we explore the high country
like tourists from Mars.

There is no greater freedom than that found in the mountains,
where no alarm intrudes or schedule inhibits.
They are places of solace and hope.
Somewhere deep in tribal memory they reside
those highlands of Scotland
and wooded hills of the Rhineland,
where ancestors fought bloody wars,
lived in caves and ate raw meat.
Even they stood at times on hilltops
far away
and wondered at it all
and even now their dust
fills the valleys
and they rest in their final emancipation,
their song of freedom
forever wafting on ancient winds.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Mule Named Dawg and a Dog Named Myool

Copyright 2008

Round the bend and up the road
lives a farmer name of Micah Joad
Joad’s gotta mule name of dawg
He can plow a row and pull a log

Down the road and around the bend
lives a farmer name of Howard Lend
Lend’s gotta dog name of Myool
Long in the tooth but he ain’t no fool

Lend come around to farmer Joad’s
needin’ a mule to pull some loads
Cuttin’ logs and takin’ ‘em to town
Thought old Dawg could pull ‘em on down

Brought old Myool along for the ride
That dog stayed right by old Lend’s side
Until the minute he spied old Dawg
Joad a plowin’ him out in the fog

Now Myool took out after old Dawg
And Dawg took out into the bog
Dog named Myool chasin’ a mule named Dawg
Peculiar doin’s out here in the fog

Down they went Dawg and Myool
Dawg had the lead but begin to drool
Myool was a catchin’ up real fast
But Dawg refused of bein’ passed

So Dawg sped up and turned the bend
Right behind was Myool and Lend
Lend was a hollerin’ to beat the band
For all this nonsense he wouldn’t stand

Old Joad come along but he was old
He give it his best but begin to fold
Old Myool caught up with the hard runnin’ Dawg
So Dawg just stopped beside a log

Myool was a barkin’ to beat the band
A carryin’ on and a raisin’ sand
Dawg just turned his rump toward Myool
Then Myool went and broke the cardinal rule

He stood a barkin’ at old Dawg’s rump
When Dawg let loose and give him a thump
Myool went a flyin’ across the log
That’s what happens when you’re kicked by Dawg

So the moral of this here story is
Mind what’s yours and him what’s his
Don’t borry a mule, no matter how poor
Cause dogs and mules don’t mix for sure

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gold Mountain

Copyright 2008

Along the tree strewn ridge on a sparkling fall day
the light glistens on the rocks and the cool breeze
ruffles my hair as I stride the wonderland that is the Blue Ridge.
Now and again I catch a glimpse of distant valleys
bejeweled with lakes, golden in the afternoon sunlight,
beyond them distant ridges of hazy blue which melt into the sky
thirty miles distant.

It is a time and place of revelation,
when the clock means naught and time is held suspended
like a thought in a tired mind at days end,
while I walk these ridges in the warmth of gratitude
and hope in the future of a troubled earth.

It would not be hopeless were Nature in charge
and man but a player in the cosmic game.
But taking to himself the fate of the globe
smashing and staining, his hands drip with
blood drawn from mother earth.

I wonder as I hike these ancient hills
if even they will escape that day of reckoning
when mountains smoke and
oceans boil like cauldrons.

I wonder if man will somehow open his jaded eyes
and see.

But then, across the valley there, a hawk glides
on thermals that carry her high on the dusky wings
of this blessed day and I smile
because hope will not go easy.


Well the one year anniversary of this little experiment in soul baring, self-absorbed bloviating has come - and gone - without my realizing it. It was May 24 of 2007 that I posted the first chapter of Scarecrow in Gray. Time flies, as they say, when you're having fun.

It has been instructive, the way this blog has changed over that year. It has become primarily a place for publishing my little poems and book reviews (both of my work and others). It has also become a place where I can help promote (in a modest way) my friends of the Independent Authors Guild, a collective of self published and small press published authors seeking to gain recognition for their work in the brutal, over-crowded world of book publishing. They have been very helpful to me and I am trying to return the favor by adding their links to the blog as well as featuring a different IAG author each week (look at the column to the left).

I suppose I started with the idea that I should opine and wax eloquent about this subject or that. The fact is that although I am very interested in politics, hiking, and other things, my first love is the writer's art. Therefore, since I do not have legions of publishers clamoring to publish my poems and essays, I publish them here and at I suppose it is a natural progression.

I hope something here makes you think, inspires you, or just entertains you a bit. After all, you're the reason these words are on this page.