I’ve logged more experience than most with simplicity and the complexity you discover inside simplicity, minimalism and asocial behavior, endurance and landscape.
Here is the truth: I think some deep wisdom inside me (a) sensed the stress, (b) was terrified for me, and (c) gave me something new and hard to focus on in order to prevent me from lapsing into a despair coma — and also to keep me from having a jelly jar of wine in my hand.
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(Dedicated to the United Mine Workers Union)
I was changing horses
in the middle of the stream
when a current of coalmining ghosts
pulled me into a dream.
For days and weeks
and seconds and hours
of being in their souls,
I was gently laid
before a golden throne.
From the throne
rose a cast-iron robot
in a suit of pinstrip minerbones.
On his left finger there were diamonds
and on his right thumb
was a fingernail gold.
I’m sorry but I can’t explain more
because suddenly the monster spoke
and I was frozen from his breath,
it was so meanly harsh, cruel, cold.
As I was thawing out next to my dead horse
the whisperings, anger, fear and pain
of 10 thousand petrified miners
was the heat that saved my life.
And this time I heard a voice and listened,
because this voice spoke
through the mouth of a 123-year-old
dead coalminer’s wife.
Her rough and workworn hands
said everything need be said.
She covered me with 2 worn quilts
built a fire and returned to her husband
who was 123 years, half petrified, dead.