for Nest Williams (nee)

her people

did not like my people

their bloodlines

stretching back in this place

for hundreds of years

being born living & dying

within their five mile patch

of mountains

where my kind were roamers

drifters reivers

picking up culture whatever

sucking up stuff wherever

we could

spitting out the gritty bits

that did not fit

& always always moving on

& of course they were right

I left her after such a short time

which is not to say

I did not want to stay

or that I would ever forget

we were just different kinds

had a rant going

fella going on about youth

disrespect today

had the whole hate thing

going on

& I had to ask

being built that way

tell me about your youth

did you have a good time?

& that slowed him some

as he told me of riding bicycles

the girls sleep outs in mountains

campfire drinking nights away

& these kids? I asked soft

it’s the problem of cities

the kids can’t get out

they turn on each other

like rats in a trap

so mebbe more to be pitied

than scorned?

& he turned away from me

could not accept the thought

these days

through the border into spain

mid morning over the pyrenees

the hog growling off rock walls

all I heard was wind & purring

enjoying leaning the curves

then suddenly

cars across the road

machine guns being waved

we were stopped dead

a hand demanding papers

in that universal sign language

we took our helmets off

they saw the blonde

& everything changed

as that always does

they waved us on

later that day on the news

we saw the big story of the day

they’d picked up an ETA fella

being moved over the mountains

back of a Yamaha

that being how they do these things

these days

this song senor

this song senor he smiled

es one of love the lover

who has gone away

walked the mountains

the mesa desert dunes

to go earn a peso in another country

& all she has now are letters

of loneliness new old cars

cold water shared rooms

a life of working living hard

he put some effort & soul into it

& I swear I saw a trickle

a little bead of sweat

these were sweet lies

the song was an old back country ballad

I caught references to dying vaqueros

wrapped up in homespun linen

where there will forever be

bad sad deaths in the afternoon

but who was I in this hot place

to deny the mariachi his money

this meagre prize?

up in the mountains

stopping for coffee

feeling the thin air bite

cold on my fingers tongue

rushing in for warmth

snow ice all around

thin guy hanging around

sell you a blanket bud?

white buffalo


forty bucks?

& too intent on coffee

getting to the warmth

I passed up the chance

on the great white buffalo

now when I hear Nugent

I know the river came close

& I passed it by

but for a few seconds

the call of warmth coffee

that could be mine

if Freud were here


turning down this road

going into the street where

that store we can get

images of mountains

rivers streams

places to sit eat drink

think of home

& these come unbidden

needing everyday stuffs

puzzling the rows

in AlCampo Auchan Le’Clerc

locales in Spain France

mom & pop shops in Arizona

outback station redwoods Cali

feeling the chill in the air

needing Alicante sun warmth

wearing a pop button shirt

bought in a Reno thrift

matched with jeans from goodwill

boots at a store Hampshire England

the world is shrinking in our dreams

& if Freud were here

you know I’d ask him what all of that


& to be true

I wanted to be gone

& to be true

I felt my people

wanted me gone too

one less mouth to feed

more cash for the booze

but where to go?

loving the sun the beach

the mountains lakes

green meadows blue skies

so many places

where to choose?

& knowing nowhere

could now be home

setting out for something

to be always alone

never settling here

wanting to be over there

somewhere else with you

roads I can’t get to

in other places different worlds

along the ocean highway

up into the mountains

there’s a place we can eat

look out over the world

& these roads I can’t get to

not outside my door

Bike is packed & ready

wanting to head for heaven tonight

twisties along the border

straight lines heading through the plains

the hairs on my arms lifting

as I think on mile after mile

on the edge of the desert

sun lifting my heart

warming through my shirt

& these roads I can’t get to

take me through long winter nights

the mountains will remain the same

there are no answers

waking at three is no good anymore

it has been a while since I was crawling through the door

at this kind of time

& instead the dark closes in my mind

thinking how of other changes in my life

when did I begin to care about the nothings of time?

I had my understanding nobody cares about anything

unless they are lovers or kith & kine

& even they have learnt to look the other way

when you come looking for answers

a kinder way to make it through

your bowl open & empty is all they see

& rather than tell you they too are empty

they will tell you to go look in another direction

there you might seek answers to find

leaving you to understand you are wrong again

these loves you look upon are only but chains

care for what you want to care

ignore what doesn’t kill you

& the mountains will remain the same