Under the Milky Way

Hundreds of miles from here

The skies will pop and sparkle 

as shooting stars skritch and scratch

their luminous spears across the visible universe

the lake will erupt

in reflection


August doldrums have arrived, the familiarity comforting at the same time it stirs me up too much.

Explosions and implosions have stunted my usual muse.

I recognize the pause for it has been here before.

The solution is to step away.

It's all in the timing.


Friends await. Younger fellows with spunk and their own mistakes to make yet. They need to unwind as do I.

They are hard working people. We meet up this time of year to be surrounded by the sweet smell of the Ponderosa duff, the sound of the lake gently lapping against the shore's edge, as Clark's nutcrackers swoop and dive taunting the ground squirrels to drop their breakfast.

The days begin gloriously each morning, the single sun looking for a few magical seconds to be two as it crests the tree tops.

We'll shout greetings, then chase big fish for a long week. The most adept among us is a high school teacher and summer fishing guide who takes us to the best spots in his big boat, cost free of course, generally only a 100 ft. or so past where we can cast from shore, We anchor, cups of dark coffee warming our hands until the bite is on, fishing with Dragon Fly nymphs as bait, seeking 5-10 lb. German Brown Trout.

When we return to the old barn-red lodge and restaurant mid-morning with our haul, the curious gather to ask,  "Where were you? What did you use?"

We claim to have been somewhere other than we were, glancing quickly at what the lodge owner has left to sell on the equipment racks.

"You have to use the Bright Yellow Bug-a-Boo lure with the trailing blade, up by the dam at the end of the reservoir" we fib, winking at the lodge owner who will be sold out of them by the next morning as word spreads of the motley bunch lugging the over-sized denizens of the river channel's depths.

Somethings are best left unsaid. If that cannot be done then fishing provides a cosmic pass for lying.

We'll smell bad, skip shaving, wear dirty hats and set too close to the fire at night as we sip our favored libations. Their children will scurry about, chasing chipmunks and exciting the dogs, or remain motionless, noses pointed to their game devices, while grandparents and other adults intent on recapturing that sense of being care-free set in chairs smiling and chattering.

We'll make the oh-so-necessary phone calls to our jobs after fishing in the morning to keep the wheels spinning in town, because we are endlessly busy folk, but for a week we'll be young and thrilled at every eagle soaring and every osprey that dives to steal the fish before our nets scoop the take into the boat.


At night, away from the camaraderie I'll look to the sky, reflecting on the bounty of this gift of life.

If you are among those who close your eyes and make a wish, a special hope for you will attach to one of those shooting stars, one that doesn't burn out crashing to our planet as a rock, but soars on past the pull of gravity and our daily machinations, to a bigger place where past, present and future cannot be distinguished, where the hopes of those desire goodwill for all can exist, unfettered by this earthly veil.


I always enjoy Bruce Cockburn. He's been a favorite for a long time. In the background one can hear a former partner of mine, Patty Larkin. We were a writing and performing duo a very long time ago. She went on to a very successful career. She has many CD's and an extensive YouTube presence.

Views: 360

Comment by Rosigami on August 12, 2016 at 8:44am

it sounds perfect. Have a wonderful week and come back with your arms full of fish and your heart contented. 

"If that cannot be done then fishing provides a cosmic pass for lying"

What a great bit of music. I remember Patty Larkin's voice well. 

Comment by alsoknownas on August 12, 2016 at 8:58am

Thanks Steel Breeze.

I look forward to sitting around and shooting the breeze. I don't really do that in real life very often. A life full of "on the go".

Comment by JMac1949 Today on August 12, 2016 at 9:07am

Great stuff... I need to go to the mountains.  R&L

Comment by alsoknownas on August 12, 2016 at 9:08am


Thanks for the good wishes.

I see you read the itty bitty font at the end. There are certain sounds I know I retain; voices especially. They ebb and flow in my head like music, sometimes wandering in like a whispering breeze. Her voice was always outstanding and it was a sheer pleasure to write and work with her.

I got a phone call yesterday from someone whose voice I haven't heard for more than two decades. Except for the slight trill that comes with the years, she sounded the same as she did then and 40 years ago when we...

Comment by alsoknownas on August 12, 2016 at 9:42am


Thanks for reading. The route to get there runs along a river, over the mixed conifer forests and then flattens to the arid high desert, the scent of juniper and sage infusing the world. The mountains are but a fraction of the beauty and the bounty.

I hope you can get away too.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 12, 2016 at 10:54am


Comment by alsoknownas on August 12, 2016 at 11:09am




Comment by Rodney Roe on August 12, 2016 at 11:10am

...Just the crickets and a dog-fight somewhere far away...  Sorry I'm quoting Cochrane's lyric, but that sort of summarizes my experiences of being one with the universe.  I've been in those Ponderosas and had camp robbers looking for crumbs on the table, and I hope the smell of pines and pine straw is the last thing I experience before whatever comes next.

I don't prefer to be alone, but some of my most intimate brushes with the universe have come alone.  I think it's because I wasn't distracted by the camaraderie.

R&L.  Thanks for the invitation.

Comment by Zanelle on August 12, 2016 at 11:17am

camaraderie......I like that word.  Interesting that some would like to experience the stars and forest and fishing by themselves...I get that but alone is easy to do...it is getting along with and attracting souls to your journey that is difficult to me.  Thanks for sharing your fun.  I miss fun.

Comment by alsoknownas on August 12, 2016 at 11:25am

Rodney Roe,

Cockburn is a master lyricist. I find him to be endlessly fascinating.

Togetherness can be a distraction. I've retreated to an alone place often in my life. More so by far than not.

Thank you for coming by and pulling something from this today.


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