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harlon rivers Dec 2018
White violets in the window
Scarlett leaves tumble across
the mossy hidden stones
mound beneath a chilly winter's dawn

A cold wind bares the dogwood tree
where puffed out plumaged woodpecker
gleans on creations' plump red bounties,
beheld subsistence beget for feral wings

Bright crimson fattened rose hips season,
lingering in the frigid morning dew;
stirring warm memories of fruitlet tea's
steeped from gathered garden magic spells
A spoonful of love and raw honey mellowed
a life once so lovingly endeared

Hot Blueberry dutch-oven scratch biscuits
imbue the wafting fragrant air —
life's cherished moments tarry
in the head and heart;
sipped by ruby lips still tasting
the untamable passion
of a breathless goodnight kiss

White violets blossom in the window
the morning fire's crackle echoes
a pining  memories' gentle whisper
awakened by the incoming wintertide

A dulcet breeze not soon forgotten
— melancholy traces linger
like a passing season's swan song

as your memory — leads me on...


harlon rivers ... December 5th, 2018
harlon rivers Sep 2018
words drift away unfettered
from whence they came,
passing like undreamed clouds
– pragmatic eyes to the sky
   in a searching stare –
unsought thoughts disappearing hence
a fog bow fading into sunlight

there are days when
   it comes out in my silence
there are days when
   it falls down in my tears:

muse – muted in poet's pause,
heart and soul whispers
  laid bare unwritten
  behind parsing eyes
disregarded words let loose,
        ungarnered
the way low hanging fruit
falls benign — unharvested —

   shortsighted  insight
   from a bird's eye view
silently fermenting traces
and unfiltered memories
come and go unheeded words,
discarded like the passing
   time of our lives

at times  it's  ludicrous
   to follow down
lingering footprints
left behind callous:
when the shoe won't fit;
slogging across eroding
time-worn stepping stones
scattered on this twisted line
these feet have been walking down,
trying to make a getaway
   from myself

walking away from the memories
like so many indelible footprints to escape
– while dreaming stardust into stars
   in nameless constellations –
reaching out from the inside,
   site unseen,
   trying to experience
   the empirical shape
   of  stifling  silence
   in a theatre made by chance

distilling the gifts and burdens
of trying to live a worthy life
   only I'll see...


harlon rivers ... September 27, 2018
pondering reticence, my recent hesitation makes me wonder — do you ever just not write down the poetry that is right in front of the eyes of your soul? This is the last piece i've written and feels as if it could be... but any poet knows — you can't steer a river

"One Man's Wilderness" by Richard Proenneke, is the title of a book I read twice this summer "Alone in the Wilderness"

"poet's pause" a truism/expression coined by Pagan Paul

Thanks for reading.
harlon rivers Aug 2018
.
The waves spilled the rising tide
back into the scattered footprints  in the sand
deeply entrenched in life’s mystery,
receding into every breaking wave


A stiff sea breeze put back every grain of sand,
elements of a larger object gathers,
gravity firmed, into the silent shoreline chasms—
a beheld essence washed out to sea
by the fugitive tides and retreating sea-foam


Soon all trodden traces visibly vanish;
unmarked mileposts on a metaphysical pathway
slip away back to a windswept shoreline
and elapsing summer tide


Seabirds glide in slow-motion,
held sway into the shapeless gusts —
as if feathered puppets hovering,
hanging from the rafters
of the burgeoning orange sky


There's an uncommon peace in the renaissance;
effervescent crisp ocean air filling
the indefinable emptiness
marooned within each heartbeat’s echo


Each new breath inhaled,  disappearing within
the unhealed hollow of every thing once believed;
fully aware this life is unholdable as time,
yet feeling many things deeply retained
    in each passing moment—
slipping away like a handful of sand
sifting through all these hands once held


Presence becoming wreathed in a miasma of stillness,
space that levitates like an unpredictable fog
that seeps into the gnawing voids
of an unsated hunger



harlon rivers  ...  August 1st,  2018
a piece from the TRAVELOGUE collection:
https://hellopoetry.com/collection/27104/travelogue/

Getting away from my ordinary life maze seems to be changing perspective; moments still unfold as they are intended, but there is less peripheral distraction, more focus on the simple things that enrich life in the moment.

I did not plan on posting anything else until back to daily Internet access
in Fall ... plus, much I've scribbled these days, seems derivative of the last  pieces i've published: that said, this is of the present moment and as close to peace as I've tread in eons:  Thank you for taking the time to check out something newly written at a time when my web access and participation @ HePo is sporadic at best.   :)  rivers
harlon rivers Jun 2018
(a travelogue cont...)

Waiting for summer
just outside the tallest
mountain’s door

Where the emerald vale
streams spring glacial-grey
river waters,
west into the setting
midnight sun

Another resplendent day’s
paling whisper set free
in an unseen blink
and an unheard sigh

In these unwonted moments  
eyes rise up to touch
the beckoning sky
like a bug drawn
to the light

Upward over
highest mountain's skies
abides everything
worth rising for

It's so rare
in this fleeting life,
when a dream
for a moment
comes true ―
 
you come to understand
how deep is silence

and ...
it doesn’t really matter
when there’re no words


harlon rivers

June 9th. 2018
11:55 pm Denali sunset ...
"don't dream it's over"
Notes: typed live on a laptop as i clumsily trip on my own fingers trying to look into the western horizon after midnight.  A big step away from a spiral and pen in hand, not to mention my abacus education and a 20,300 foot mountain peak (6200 m) ... it's got rough edges without edit but so do i...thanks for taking a look through the words
harlon rivers Jun 2018
.
There’s an ancient duct tape patched
roller suitcase still up in the attic,
scarred by sky miles and undiscerning
indifference;  it came to rest like a final breath
exhaled at the end of the long road ―

In the dusty rafters of silent repose  
the death of an alter-ego comes to life
and jars and jogs the  sleeping dogs 
that lay benign as a pothole riddled road

Holding onto memories buried alive,
hidden away remembered ― 
      sans wings to fly away
laid bare unweighed with the weight
of everything else garnered and saved
      subsisting in a shallow grave;
hoarded and hidden away breathing
locked up with the other baggage borne
       behind tired eyes

Feeling the ache of blood stained knees
falling down sullied at the side of the road
Hindsight and a roll of duct taped memories
linger;   stuck to the  grey bandage scars,
second guessing should have thrown out
with the permanently temporary
fading plasticized luggage name-tags
back when I was still close enough to care;
too many miles to reconsider  ago

Some say: "it's the journey not the destination"                                    .
Some day when its too late we'll know
Some day it will be too late to make amends
        for everything i could not be ...


           harlon rivers ... 07  06  2018
apologies for the inconsistent reading, posts and replies.  Internet access comes and goes up here off the grid

To anyone interested, this is a piece from a collection from the summer called TRAVELOGUE:   https://hellopoetry.com/collection/27104/travelogue/
harlon rivers Jun 2018
I saw the sun steep
into the seascape ―
lonely as a drowning
    wave
         on still-waters

the dimming of the day
rescinding evanescent daylight                                                         ­         .
fading with the slack tide
         lost at sea ―
a gloaming moment
         let fall from
the remains of the day,
like some other passing
sea bird's molted feather
drifts away untamed

I sit silent as the driftwood
lingering at the watermark,
watching a random gust
    erase the footprints
of another recurring day, 
bearing abandoned memories
    and vacant heartbeats,
atrophied in the drifting sands

    and I see you walking
    towards the abating  
    midnight sunset ―
         but I know
    you're just a mirage;    
like the dimming afterglow
of so many waning moons
            elapsed
         
ever-changing tides grow low  
and promises made lightly  
         do ebb away
          
Scanning the distant horizon ―    
    a blindfold heart    
    mooning all at sea;
parsing a deserted shoreline,
    wondering if love
          is too late ,..
    to stem the tide ―


        harlon rivers

      30   May   2018
Note:   apologies for the inconsistent reading, posts and replies.  Internet access comes and goes out here off the grid.   Thank you for taking a look through the words― h.a. rivers

Chronological TRAVELOGUE collection:
9 of some more here; published & unlisted

https://hellopoetry.com/collection/27104/travelogue/
                                                                                                                     .
harlon rivers May 2018
(a travelogue)

He stared down through
the unbroken silence
lapping the shoreline
Water skippers dart around
the rocks and windfall driftwood
settled juxtaposed in cattail reeds
and emerging broadleaf sprouts

A petrified heartwood timber
lie fallow waiting bare barked,
hushed like a pining lover’s
     timeworn love seat,
     rubbed smooth as
     the crystalline waters
     of  half-moon lake

Lingering for a while  ―  
like a hidden stalker,
a perched wildcat waiting
for the full moon’s  
swooning spell to saturate
the thickening dusk quietude;
     arousing the urgent
     call of the wild —
exhaled from the held breath
of the wilderness nocturne
    on half-moon lake

The stillness was scattered
with the soft downy hairs
of the sleeping cattails,  and
the newly shed catkins
a spring gust bestrewed
from a tall resin birch tree
nigh the Sitka willows

     He  sat  quietly ...
     time out of mind ―

tossing his eyes up into the sky;
taking the time to read the stars ―
catching  them  each  again
as they fell into his gentle hands,
to show him who he was

Seeing their sparkly tracers  
trail-out above the cattails,
     from a distance
they resembled falling stars
unable to perceive their own renaissance ―
plashing lightly upon the still-water
     on half-moon lake

A lone shadow glides stealthily
near mid-tarn,.. swimming  
enchantingly with the grace
     of a blackswan
Appearing to glance shoreward
at the glowing low stars
rise and fall, as his eyes
twinkled skyward over
     the moonlit lagoon ―
heavenward of its moonlit ballet;
the lone sleek dark shadow
     slipping through
     a faint circular ripple
stirring the smooth as glass waters ―  
disappearing like a fleeting moment
     waning deep aneath
     a subtle silent wake.

When all the clear lines blurred,
he knew it had been so long ...

     but hearken !
… an interceding
     long drawn out wail  
     echoed  a feral ache
     across the stillness,
     breaking the silence ―

as the shadow reappeared;
     his tears surrendered
to the undulating call of the wild;
he felt the spirit of the sole Loon,
     as black and white
     as the moonlit night,
stir deeply in his wanting heart ―
     lay bare the silence
in lengthy yodeled psalms
to the god of the moon

Diving down deep yet again,
keeping the light he’d been given,
vanishing into the lifespring
sanctuary of half-moon lake


harlon rivers ... May 2018
travelogue: 4 of some more
Notes: i'm certainly aware i've not been here as often and active as i once was. **** happens and so does life, and it will ... so much so, the travelogue chronicles felt worthwhile for a moment, the first 4 were from the 1st 3000 mile leg of a 6000 mile and 6 month round trip road-trip journey ―

All apologies to those that found the length of my work tedious.   When i've tried to make the ink go other than where and how long it flows naturally ― i fail and stifle, paused in my own sown silence.   Too predictable to continue to ignore ― peace
harlon rivers Feb 2018
The hollow wind funneled the voice
of the distant night-train crossings,
awakening  a  familiar  silence
hanging from the vast wilderness sky
A restless heart hearkening the echoes,
imagining  a  runaway  Pullman
flew away off the rails,    airborne
on the winged wind headed north

Winter  pausing  for a moment
in  the  shadows  of  familiarity,
as if parsing the unspoken breathings
in an  echoless  surrendered sigh;
uncertain if tacit words set free
could ever allow a heart broken
        to feel whole again

There  is  no  absolving  voice
that whispers in a solemner tone :
        Death  has  no  mercy  ―  
love remains marooned in the wake ,..
and it feels like the world’s gone mad
letting time be the arbiter of perpetuity

The fading dream of a motherless child;
a wish to be held maternally
fell to the ground with a thud,
        breaking the silence,
dissipating formless as the shape of water

Muted cold lips so full of questions
morphing into fugitive sighs
come the unsettled night;
when shadows disappear like frail memories
that  passed  too  soon  to  grasp,
thickly palpable as the warm breath
a winter bird alone on frosty branch

There’s no fear in braving the darkness
in the  winter wilderness of life borne alone
There’s no way of knowing what you’ll find
down that long empty road back home
Life just flashes by silently before your eyes
        through the windshield
    of countless miles and miles

And there’s nothing you can do about it ―
It’s like hearing the moment of truth in a lie
when all I was looking for
was  how I got here in this now,.. yesterday

only finding a hopeless poet
scribbling  slightly stained pages,
spilling  a  bitter  sweet  dream ...


        harlon rivers ... February 2018


///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
1st night back home:  the end of a 2400 mile road-trip

I know I can't catch up here, all anyone can do is start again..

I've heard it said: "starting with the ending is the best place to begin."

Thanks for reading !!!
harlon rivers May 2018
Rest stops and road weary vagabonds
Peanut butter, water and stale bread;
Cookie crumbs and lip smirched paper cups
Somewhere's last weeks coffee stained newspaper
Blown out tires and the side of the road  
Deep, thick, unmistakable, bear paw-prints
lie fallow ― undead in the mud
           

Feeling the raw silence of what you’re thinkin'
ooze out of a festering puncture wound within
Churning soliloquies  gnawing  away
at the unspooled  threads  fray,  
understanding there’s  no  fear
in  less  than nothing  to  lose
                                  

Sometimes change happens
so fast you don’t even notice
We can wait a lifetime and never be sure;
never taking that first step that leads to a journey
of a thousand miles ― just a step away


It’s not some kind of bewitching
     loneliness  spell  cast
never seeing another sole
in measureless hours and days
Passing moments languish imponderably,
there are no feelings I can see,
        by  looking  away ―
always as blind as we want to be


Wanting what was taken more than what is given;
still doing the things we learned we shouldn't do again
The longest miles are the trodden ones
with only traces of learning how to be
    alive ― off the grid; alone again


It’s a journey where there's no map to guide you
Just  a deepening furrowed lifeline standstill
Stalled at a crossroads in the palm of your hand;
uncertainty deriding  where you’re headed ―
both a reason and an excuse when we're not sure
we're not alone on such a long one way road
we've been out here traveling  on
 

Forbearing the truth that holds my soul,
the only way through the ache
is through the wound
                                     ... and
I’ll get down this long road somehow


    harlon rivers ... May 2018
     ... travelogue 3 of some
Notes ―  lyric from:   Side of the Road;    
written by ... Lucinda Williams

'If I stray away too far from you,
don't go and try to find me
It doesn't mean I don't love you,
it doesn't mean I won't come back and
stay beside you
It only means I need a little time
To follow that unbroken line
To a place where the wild things grow
To a place where I used to always go' ...
harlon rivers May 2018
Three thousand miles
navigating a storm
without drop of bad weather
Abacus odometer clicks
rotating forward ―  
spinning with the
world go round

Circling back down
a long and winding road;  
where unforgotten memories
were once searchingly explored,  
untrodden pathways
coursing way up north of alone
on the low highway
  
Now an aging shepherd
wonders without a compass ;
a vagabond deprived of light
from an ever blurring north star
Heart empty as a gas tank
with a broke down gauge,
running on fumes of hope
for unpromised tomorrows
Running from loneliness
just to be on the run

The gales of silence bellow
No feelings I can see ― lay me low

Wild-eyed daydreams
of Full sails billow out
through the windshield,
only hearing the unspoken
moments sigh restlessly ―    
The dull droning road rumble
re-sighs renunciatively,
a tired monotone voice
mimicking the loathe silent echo
wallowing in an
omnipresent hollow void
deriding unspoken chaos
between the passing centerlines ―

A frost heave pothole erupts,
with a leaf-spring rattling thud,
as a fleeting cloud of dust arises,
set adrift with the draught
headed off the east side
of the Alcan highway:
blown way outside the lines,  
towards the Alberta prairie

White knuckled steering wheel
held sway,  rolling down
a beckoning wilderness
          reincarnation; 
default reset button paused ― 
stuck in a moment ― until another jaw rattling
frost-heave pothole in the highway,
            jars it free

Leaving it all behind
like a sigh breathed
in a silence a heart has outgrown;
just a fleeting cloud of dissipating dust,..
         a paling whisper
the past seems to send forth
  like a fading last breath

Letting it all unfold to become what it is


     harlon rivers ... May 2018
       ... travelogue 2 of some
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