Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here Is One Way

Wiki says: Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire. Writer Larry McMurtry referred to Abbey as the "Thoreau of the American West".
"I am pleased enough with the surfaces - in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child's hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl's thigh, the sunlight on the rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind - what else is there? What else do we need?" - Edward Abbey
Edward Abbey was the consummate activist Hippie, a certain kind of counter culture guy. When you put it like that it is hard to argue. And I will not. Instead I will observe that such a statement is only really possible for one who has found his place here and by here I mean right here and right now. Every time I am reconciled and right here and right now, I find it possible to say some part of the world is enough for me too. What is also true, I am often not reconciled, or I am not right here, or I am just not right now and there is little I can do about that. I know I am not alone.

I claim I wrestle with angels or with God. I am right here and right now when I do that too, but I am certainly not reconciled.

I notice Ed Abbey was not reconciled in the sense that he could not accept what others were doing to this place or what it turned into after they had done it. Thus he was not reconciled with humanity as it is. That kind of unrest may be necessary but there will be a difference between the man who makes a higher peace and returns to the restless work and the man who delays his peace as a sacrifice in order to continue the work at the price of his restlessness. I hope that Ed was the former rather than the latter for his own sake.

I will trust that Ed was not the third, the unfortunate kind, the man who takes on the work in order to buttress a false pride. There are far too many of them and they tend to ruin the work because it is impossible to hold a true course with false pride.

Here Is One Way

Sometimes coyote
howls with such truth and purpose
that she builds a track
out to the low moon
on the horizon of things,
a spinning gold path
of bright filigree
lighter than air but stronger
than any of us.

If we want to walk
her path it will take the smoke,
the sage, our own howl,
releasing the old
and tangled remembrances,
and the heart's return.

August 9, 2011 2:57 PM


  1. I could picture concussive sound waves gelling the sky for Coyote. What makes you think others wouldn't like this?

  2. I'm okay with my own poem, but Ed was a controversial figure in his day.

  3. I love it. The spinning gold path of bright filigree did it for me. And then there were those tangled rememberances, and the heart's return.

  4. I have tested the path which is remarkably strong for all its apparent fragility. You do have to howl, though. I am not kidding.

  5. No that is just the iceing on the cake. A good howl now and then can bring the magic back. Word verif for the day "hoblytie", isn't that like mumbledepeg? You take your dads favorite tie, hobble yourself, stand on a friend's elbow, and try to land on your head.

  6. To quote yourself....that's just wrong.

  7. you only say it is wron because yiu can picture it...what does that tell you?????
    I know my boat , you???


  8. Wow a whole lot of vacuum in that comment :D

    How do you know I am seeing anything remotely like what you see??


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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