Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Search for Blue

June 5, 2019

The Traveler’s main burden is a restless soul. He has carried it dutifully for a long time.

Traveler’s roots were deep, but not necessarily set into a specific place on this earth. Having  traversed many a mile of land and sea, this sojourner had been driven westward, in search of some destination that could not yet be clearly identified. So it might be said his roots stretched deep into life itself, rather than a place.

   At least for now.

   From a continental origin he had sailed o’er channel, into stillness and storm, outside of the norm, through  unknown , and out the other side of somewhere . . .  arriving for a season upon an ancient isle. But finding very little solace there, traveler had redirected  weary legs to ascend yet another gangplank, so that he might be transported to that great land he had heard tales of, beyond the blue.

   The seaport where he disembarked was, as it happened, a frontier for foreigners not unlike himself. They had uncovered motivations to—for whatever reason—not remain where they had begun. And so, having hung their hopes upon such vague restlessness, they undertook yet another phase of the great journey to somewhere yet to be determined.

    By ‘n by, the traveler eventually found himself ascending a long piedmont hill, and so it seemed when he had reached the top of it, the extended journey was now delivering him to a wide westward-looking vista.

    Pausing to catch breath, Travis trained his eyes on a string of  faraway ridges. Obviously high, yet . . . it seemed . . . gently-sloping. . . forested they were, and having no cragginess that he could see from here. That string of mountains  stretched like great slumbering beached whales across the entirety  of his new horizon. From  north  to south . . . blue, and blue to blue on blue, and more . . . blue.

He had never seen such a thing.


So  this must be the  beginning of Search for Blue . . .

A day in the Life

August 11, 2018

There we were, all in one place,

a generation lost in space.

Now here we are a half-century after

a life with all our pain and and laughter—

almost exactly fifty years to the day

since Sargent Pipper taught the band to play,

and though they been goin’ in and outa style

we are  gathered here to crack a smile.

So may I introduce to you?

–the one and only googled shears,

by which the great gargantuan engine hath snipped

every profound idle idol idyll mobile-friendly byte ever quipped:


I heard the news today, oh boy:

four trillion holes in tiny shiny mobile screens;

and though the holes were rather small

they had to rank them all.

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill

the mobile-friendly Mall

I’d love to turn your phone on . . . .

   King of Soul


October 15, 2017


The golden years

Are not filled with tears,

But with reflections on the times gone by

When America was young and spry,

and we sprung sprouted through the roots of time.

Purchases were made with nickel and dime.

Goodbye, goodbye,

We’ll see you by ’n bye.

The Bookends of Experience

October 31, 2015

As far as East is from the West,

and near to worst as to the best,

I have wandered lonely as a cloud

as we travel from some swaddle to the shroud.

Once we drove a stake in the ground and called it home;

now this morning wakes me here as sun is shone.


Situated now on continental sunrise heights

while recalling vivid island sunset sights,

and noticing here our stark and spindly leaves, these trees,

I recollect the wide and warm of ocean breeze.


Experience goes as far as mountains are from sand,

then circles back around to water, air and land.

Sometimes life is hard, you know;

at other times it’s soft as autumn leaves make show.

As days turn dark,

so light doth continually toss out some spark

of hope or happiness or flexibility

that is yet assailed by despair or dearth or rigidity.

Experience comes as vividly as rising sun;

then memory renders it precious when day is done.

Doors of perception

open into windows of reflection

as present slips into the past

and future finds a fleeting foothold fast.

We amble here and there and everywhere;

we ramble now and then without care.

When reality and reflection mingle in the sands of time

imagination splurges into rhythm, sometimes in rhyme

when myself is beached upon the rock of time,


and our family finds itself with God and universe in line.


Glass half-Full

The Fab Four (reprise)

March 5, 2015

Of course all our baby boomer memory switches were tripped to the max last night, when we went to hear the Rain “Tribute to the Beatles.


Rain‘s first blast of the early song-hits immediately tapped into my personal storehouse of our collective boomer experience.

We were the first generation of TV kids. No one could have predicted what would happen with all us youngsters tracking on the same wavelength, although Marshall McLuhan did try, as the thing later unfolded, to analyze it.

Well this is what happened: the Beatles.

My first hearing of those Liverpool lads arrived through the transistor radio late one night in 1964. I was slumbering in bed at the end of another 7th-grade day; then suddenly there they were, filling the airwaves, filling my ears with wonder.

Nothing like it before that. The Beatles’ world-shaking harmony and jangly guitars suddenly carved a space in my brain that had not previously existed.

A few years later, I remember sitting in the front yard of our house in Baton Rouge, listening to Sgt. Pepper’s and wondering about its strangeness.

You know what I’m talking about.

Last night’s Rain revisitation, thanks to the excellent musicianship of that tributary ensemble, brought it all back. Of course our mounting audience appreciation culminated at the end when we all sang Hey Jude during the pre-programmed third or fourth encore.

This morning I was thinking about it all, reflecting, as it were, on the reflection.

Paul Simon’s poetic line from (Bookends: Old Friends) came to mind:

Time it was a time oh what a time it was. . . a time of innocence, a time of confidences. . .”

There we all were in a high-tech auditorium, a couple thousand Boomers. Pat, my wife of 35 years, was with me. Our daughter Kim had provided the tickets.

“Will you still feed me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?”

Who’d’ve thought, back in 1968, that magical age of 64 would actually arrive? My 64th is this year.


There is so much that could be said about this, but I will highlight here only one aspect of the Beatles’ rise to the world’s first-ever domination of the pop music. Think about it this way:

McCartney/ Lennon

Good boy/ Bad boy

Good cop/ Bad cop

Jekyll/ Hyde

Ego/ Id

John Lennon was  the kid in the back of the room always acting out, being reprimanded by the teacher and ultimately ordered to sit in the corner with (imaginary) dunce hat on his head. The circumstance only provided a new venue in which he gladly improvised new manifestations of clownish rebellion. Why don’t we d-do it in the road?

Last night, on our hometown (Appalachian State University) stage here in Boone, Steve Landes of Rain performed the role with authentic Lennon irreverence.

Paul McCartney, on the other hand, perfectly embodied the choirboy persona: sharp and attentive, dutiful, ambitious, successful, the ladies’ man. He filled the world with silly love songs, in spite of John’s perpetually disruptive mischief. And the world loved Paul for it. He was always fixing a hole where the rain gets in, while John was spinning yarns about 4000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire, or some other inexplicable collection of mysteries.

These two together, Lennon and McCartney. . . well, you know the rest. So let’s all get up and dance to a song.

Much of the Beatles’ success was attributable to the wizardry of others behind the scenes during their intrusion into the musical universe, most notably Brian Epstein, manager. Later, George Martin, producer.

In last night’s masterful Rain production, those roles were represented on stage by keyboardist-sound engineer extraordinaire Chris Smallwood. He was the man behind the scenes– back in the shadows, stage right, fingering those  mysteriously familiar layers of revolutionary sound–horns a la Sgt. Pepper, strings, sitar, and all those other audible elements that were so curiously present in the later Beatle albums, but not easily identifiable back in the day.

The outcome of last nights recollective reverie is, methinks, represented in this:

Once there was a way to get back home.

And the words that ring out at the end:

“Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight a long time.”

Any boy who has ever played the game of love with his heartthrob girl and then lost her knows what “that weight” is.

All the while, from then ’til now, it’s getting very near end.

“It was twenty (or forty) years ago today,

Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play;

they been goin’ in and out of style,

but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile.”

And raise a smile they did, last night,  many and many a smile . . .

Glass Chimera