Category: Poetry

by Various

One more for Clive! Masterful play on words.

I just ran onto this. It's 12 or 15 years old, but it fits today's mood.


I long to be out on the trail again,
Out in the wind and the sun,
Out on the trail in the morning
When the day has just begun.

I long to be out on the trail again,
Enduring the heat of the day.
Out on the trail at mid day
And miles upon my way.

I long to be out on the trail again,
When the sun is going down,
Out on the trail in the afternoon
And miles from any town.

I long to be out in the wilderness,
Far from the madding crowd,
Far from the cities glowing lights
And from Freeway traffic loud.

I long to be out on the trail again
Under the dome of the sky,
Out in the wind and the weather
And free as a dragon fly.

I long to be out on the trail again,
Treading some lonely track,
A beat up tarp round my bed roll
And all I own on my back.


Clive on Hobos....1-22-05

Good evening
There was a book back when I was in High School, in the school library. Someone had donated it and it had never been checked out. I think it was pre World War One because I think that by the end of the war, most of the old wood frame box cars with truss rods under neath, where it was common for hoboes to ride, were left. I don't think I ever saw one. The title of the book was Tramping with Tramps. I don't know the authors name, but his road name was Chicago Cigarette. And there were women on the road even then, he mentioned a couple.
Up in the thirties, somebody discovered the women, and were quite horrified to discover homeless women, out there on the road. Some of the women who were out there by choice, probably got a snicker out of that. I saw a few of them and was jungled up with a couple. I mentioned Sal, which was her road name. I added the Lonesome to make a rhyming line in the poem.
Since folks found out about the annual Convention at Britt Iowa, they have been visited by reporters and a lot of them have been interviewed. That is a lot of what's in those two books. That's how Gypsy Moon got started. She was there doing interviews, and one of them showed her how to get on a train and they went for a ride. And she was hooked. Her father had been a hobo and had told her stories, so once she discovered how easy it was to get on - -. She was later elected Hobo Queen.
One of the musicians down at the Gather was on the road. He also belongs to a smaller group that calls itself The Harmonica Hoboes. Several years back, he brought them to
what was then Nancy's, and they played while the full band was at lunch. That was where and when I wrote Hobo Serenade. I got up and read it and one of the Hoboes came over and asked for a copy, and I seem to recall that he too, had been on the road.
This sort of thing is what makes it worth while hanging around a bit longer.

Best of the Road


I sat here with my playing cards
While vagrant memory strayed,
And dealt a hand of poker
That never will be played.

Picked up what I'd dealt myself,
Three aces, full on tens.
I had done it all unthinking,
Could I do the same again?

Of course I couldn't do it.
The once fine touch is gone.
My hands have lost their magic.
Well, I knew it all along.

The old Rover's legs are weary,
The old gambler's skill has fled.
He's just a worn out shadow
Who might as well be dead.

clive tfR


I am tired!
Tired with the weight of years
And the packs that I have carried,
Tired with the campfires I have built
When beside the trail I tarried.

I am tired!
Tired with the miles upon the trail,
Though my legs were sore and weary,
Tired with forcing another mile
Though my eyes with sleep were bleary.

I am tired!
Tired from taking the trail at dawn,
When I should have stayed in bed.
Tired with slogging on and on,
Till I wished that I was dead.

I am tired!
Tired of the crowded bar rooms,
When days on the trail were done.
Tired of the poker tables,
Where I thought I was having fun.

I am tired!
Tired while I sit here dreaming,
Tired from the trails of memory's track.
Tired --- Though I hate to admit it
I still wish that I could go back!



How can I plan for tomorrow?
It's hard enough to manage today.
What with poems, E Mails, dirty dishes --
And life keeps getting in the way.

My brother was here for an hour -
Yes. I know that was yesterday,
But he left me befuddled and depressed.
I was glad when he went away!

I had intended to do some telephoning.
I don't know where the time sped.
I sat down to supper about 7:30 -
Then, Bang! Ten PM, time for bed.

I do not know where the time goes to.
There seemed to be more, way back when.
Back when I was forty years younger.
I did much more each day, way back then.

There are things I need to get finished,
Ere the dark closes in round my head,
When the pattern of life falls to pieces,
And I sudden discover I'm dead.

There's a book I am needing to finish,
There are letters I had ought to write.
But life just keeps on interfering --
I guess that perhaps, that's all right.



Oh! What a beautiful morning!
Oh! What a wonderful day!
It's April and raindrops are falling,
Washing my troubles away.

Oh! What a beautiful morning!
Come on, let's keep it this way.
There's need that rain keep on falling,
Not caring what others may say.

Oh! What a beautiful morning!
The garden is turning to mud.
Oh! List to the rain pitter patter,
Soaking each opening bud.

Oh! What a beautiful morning!
Oh! What a beautiful spring!
The raindrops of April are falling,
Bluebirds and wrens on the wing.



I said it loud and clear --
Then things got sort of fuzzy
And I couldn't see nor hear.

Then gradually things cleared
And I found I was some where.
Though it seemed to look familiar
I knew I was other where

It wasn't hard to figure out
Exactly what was wrong,
And though it was confusing,
It did not take me long.

I was still sitting at my desk
But things were all askew.
The letters on my manuscript
Looked strange, and then I knew.

Here I am left-handed,
The letters backside to.
How to get back where I belonged
I thought perhaps I knew.

I thought the word Dodgastricate
Must somehow hold the clue.
I'd try and spell it backward
And see what that might do.

So I wrote Etacirtsagdod
And pronounced it best I could.
The first time that I tried it,
It didn't do no good.

So I thought, perhaps it's the
Whole phrase I must reverse,
And that may take more doing
And be quite a little worse.

Lets think about the next word.
T H acts like one letter,
Eth and that had ought to do.
So things start looking better

B U S T, T S U B.
I've seen that T S somewhere -
I've got it! Tsar -
T W U B should get there.

In sign, the g is silent
It just makes the I sound long.
So, gnid is nide.
That shouldn't be far wrong.

Elacirtsagdod eth tsub nide.
That had ought to do the trick.
And if I can just pronounce it,
It had ought to work out slick.

It had taken a lot longer
Than it had seemed to me,
So when I popped back, right
Side to, no one was expecting me.

They all were eating shortcake
Underneath the maple tree
And, since I was not expected,
There was none left for me.

I may have dreamed the whole thing
And I have no way to show,
But, Ding bust the Dodgastricate,
I'll avoid, you ought to know.



Lake Michigan

My Lake!
I live far inland now,
And yet,
Whenever storm winds blow,
I hear the thunder
Of your surf.

My Lake!
Though I have wandered
Far from
You, and wondered --
Still, I wake at night
And hear, a sea gull call.

My Lake!
Although my wanderlust
Has led me far,
Where all the lakes were dust,
Still, in the night,
I'd feel you call.

My Lake!
When this tired body fails,
And I can wander
Neither hills nor dales
Then cast my ashes in
My Lake, at last



Give me back my Pinto hoss
And the pack hoss I once knew
And give me a long and lonely
Trail, say a thousand miles or two.

Let me see the track of a Grizzly,
Let me hear a Timber Wolf call.
I know, I am old and battered,
But Lord! How I loved it all.

I hear the echoes in the canyons
And the whisper of wind in the pines,
The silence at night in the timber,
And Oh! How I wish it was mine!

A canoe in a stretch of white water,
A campfire beside a clear stream,
A pack on my back in October --
But, Alas! I can only dream.

I am old and tired and useless,
My days on the trail are long done,
My life winds down to an ending.
But, Damn it! I sure did have fun!!


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