Project Local needs your old camping gear!

Have any old water bottles, backpacks, vintage camping or hiking gear from the collecting dust in your garage? I’d love to take them off your hands and put them to use! Project Local (my non profit) is making beginner backpacking/survival kits to give away, and all donations are welcome, even broken items, I have a special talent for fixing busted backpacking gear 😉

Just comment here or send me a message and we’ll work out the details of getting stuff picked up or shipped out, and thanks for all your help!

(More projects coming soon!)

Special Sort of Parachute

What I want to say here today is about how we build towns in low places.
Now I don’t mean lowly, or head stooped, or humbled. I am talking altitude.
Down between the bases of barriers. Mountains. Like rivers.
We even seem to dig valleys deeper.
So everytime I come close to town I am walking down.
It strikes me in this moment that this is not a rare
or new or unusual instinct for a creature to have.
In fact, going over the historical math, we, as a species,
have a longstanding history of stacking lives up high in low places.
So it makes sense so much of our myths are full with fear of floods.
Waters rising. Of frantically fleeing above.
And I want to say the answer today is not a bigger boat.
Or a taller tower, higher stacked along quartz clay barriers.

It’s simpler than that.
So simple in fact.
It fits in a backpack.

Hanging from the dented shoulders of just about every person
I’ve met and shared space with on an average hiking day.
A little food. A liter of water or two. And some shelter.
A sort of parachute to carry you once you abandon the plane.
Climb away from the town we built up tall in a low down place.

We are intended to fear floods the rest of our lives
for never following mountains to their full height.
And see, even then, land sandwiched by sea.

What I want to say here today.
I don’t believe a flood could swallow this place any more than oceans already have.
I want to reconsider how many myths were written by people who only build in valleys.
Never lived out of a backpack. Clearly haven’t climbed high enough to know
there are places in this sort of place that will never be touched by floods.
If you don’t believe me, you should go. Spend some time with mountains.
Just be warned. After a month or so,
you may have to find new things to be afraid of.

This country

I love this country.
Seated against a tree in Virginian highlands.
I love this country. And, I know what all that means.
Mountain pillars float above foundation streams.
Tall rooted sunlight schemes wiggling green.
Evening breeze.

I love when high wind sweeps low and stillness quivers.

Feel this shiver as it slinks along my spine.
Ends up near my mind.
I love a cup of wine.
I love to breathe smoke.
To nurse fire.
I love the country where I am.
Gnats wings electricity near my ear.
Fire molesting moist wood.
Hesitant to burn.
Begged to be left alone.
This country is my home.
And I am anything but inclined to protect it.

On my feet.
Eating miles.
Wide hip pictures of horizons
and boot prints on the trail.

I love this country best.
I love it with footsteps.
With my time.

Houses. Jobs. Farms. Goats. Careers. Left behind.
By definition. They are not this country.
Which was here long before we were.
And will remain so long past I. Us. We.

Lovers of continents we can’t understand.

There are better ways than words to say it.

Try walking.

A Quilting Consciousness

Steers that aren’t really steers sideways stare at us from between two big bowed branches of hollow bone. Crickets creak tree lines as steady as creeks creak creek bottoms. Sun sings sweat on shoulders with a sharp shiny soprano singing voice. Crows caw call us all back on our feet. Back backpacking miles repeat. And grass. Sweeps us off our feet with the subtle prayer of protein green. It is all made into a choir within me. A world of wild sound woven into harmony. The quilting consciousness that is humanity. Our mission. And it may yet prove to be enough just to sit and listen. 

Walking to NY: How to help

Starting in August, I’m going to be hiking the Appalachian Trail for a few months, to end up in upstate New York. The goal being to pursue my creative writing and other artistic ambitions full time for a while. I will also leave behind my main source of employment, as well as the farm I have come to depend on. After planning, training, and saving for almost a year, there is still a lot I need, and will need especially during the walking months.

I just want to let everyone know, I am open to accepting all forms of help in this endeavor. I have already had a few people who live near the trail offer a place to stay and a warm meal along the way, and some truly amazing friends will be caring for my animals and farm while I’m gone. A trip like this would be a lot harder, maybe even impossible, if I was on my own. Any help that you can offer is more than appreciated. It will be recorded, remembered, and eventually, repaid.

If you know someone who lives near the trail, or hear about a short term employment opportunity between here and there, or even just a heads up about an interesting place to visit, please let me know. Anything from a few dollars, to backpacking tips, to information about the areas I’ll be passing through, means the world. It helps make this adventure possible. Any and all contributions are going to support me during my hike. Once I arrive, I will be able to arrange for employment and my needs will be much more predictable.

Just let me know if you have any questions about specifics, food and gear and the whatnot’s I’m still sourcing. I have a set up, for anyone who wants to help monetarily, as well as a Patreon account, which is a new service that supports start-up artists, connecting them and their art directly with patrons who want to support them. Both links are listed below!

If there’s anything else you think could help, do not hesitate to reach out:

And for more information about my trip, my art, my farm or just in general, check out:

Revisiting Victory #3

These mountain dandelions are different than the ones back home.
They make our fluffy yellow flowers look like house-cats. Not lions at all.
They’re yellow fringed and orange centered with green eyelashes all around.
Roar pollen into the wind. Through the leftover of million year pressure, they dig.
Root like pigs. Into the side of hard gray lichen coated ground.
They creep through grass and launch on eyes like prey.
Where they mindlessly graze.

Across the hazy miles that crown sleepy towns like haloes.

They grow low, heads stooped.
And warn us off to keep on walking.
Dandelion heads buried in green.
Still stalking.

There will always be another mountain.

Ever been tempted to speak out loud a phrase like,
I don’t know how much more I can take before I break?
When in truth, it is just getting started.

This unforgiving,
promising place.

The here, and where when and how we found it now.
The sound and feeling of the breeze that makes an unbearable day better,
pushing, just like us, being pushed by changes in changing weather.

And whether or not you think you can,
there will always be another mountain.

And even if you decide to sit, quit, and die,
there is a mountain waiting in death too.
And this climb comes to you.

by the time such a phrase has been spoken,
it does not matter how much you take before you break.
You are already broken.