The occasional journeys of Shadowman
Travels in Argentina
Nighttime Taxi Ride
Tango at Bar Sur
Imagine sitting on a mountainside in the shade of a windblown tree. There are other trees around you but almost nothing uphill except bare rock. Well OK, there is some moss and some lichen on the rocks, but there are no trees or bushes. Then imagine that this tree has always been here. When the Pony Express passed this way, when whatsisname surrendered at Yorktown, when Columbus landed, when Leif and his bunch found their way to Greenland and landed, this tree was here. You know the big redwood slabs that have pins in the growth rings that indicate significant historical events? Like when Jesus was a baby? Well, when the tiny seed that became that magnificent redwood tree fell from its cone, the tree under which you are sitting was an OLD tree. When the pyramids in Egypt were built, this tree, this exact tree, was right here. There is an amazing parallax of history here in the shade of this tree. And yes, the ravens still hurl insults at eagles and the jays still squabble and the big black ants still march relentlessly up and down the amazing living being that is this tree, just as they always have. But sitting here, alone on a mountainside, with the wind rushing and tumbling through the long light of an autumn afternoon, time seems to have a huge wrinkle. The perceived importance of our human endeavors shrinks and the grace of the wild expands and fills the world.
Steve Trenam leads a poetry class in which the poets use visits to various environments to inspire or motivate poetic impulses. On January 3, 2020 the class visited the LaHaye Art Center and toured the artists’ studios and Alley Gallery. The participants then had 30 to 45 minutes to put pen to paper. I asked them to share their work with me.