pays Basque

Sleeping pays Basque

preparing the ground

tarp & swag bag

in the cool air

of the high mountain

an old man steps out of the gloom


he has no english

so we give him a beer

to help the language flow

I pick out some words

some french’ish

& some Spanish

with a gleam in his eye

he tells of

being basque

the need for independence

long age & distance from guns


living his life

away from authority

like his ancestors

little money

little contact

with the world

our world




are not his friends

walking his own trails

tending his fields




finding a goat


as the need arises

we shake hands

smile at each other

show teeth

& he says goodnight

good journey tomorrow

this is his way

we understand

of him saying

in the morning

you will

be gone

we nod

accepting his hospitality

for the night

as he steps into the black

& is gone


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