A few days at the lake

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Reading Rails
Reading Rails
By John Paul Wright
Photo book


A few days at the lake

Breckinridge County, Kentucky

Rough River Lake


06-28-2017 A.M.

Wasted energy &

wasted time. This place

three miles back a county

road. Calamese Creek –

Breckinridge County.


Each lot for sale;

like this land is your land,

this land is my land –

to the dam line, to the gravel

road – to do whatever the hell

I please.


On the weekend – on holidays,

some come to escape the

humdrum of the city.

Some, to replicate the city.

The Amish and Mennonites farm the fields.

The “campers” from the towns come

burning fuels, stocked bass boats

and mobile homes, pouring

thousands into American Dreams –

and bored with their surroundings

coexist, with the Indian mom and pops.

Shop at the Dollar General.


A few “locals” sit at a hot spot

watching T.V broadcasting

from Jefferson’s County, Kentucky

and no wonder Meriwether Lewis

shot himself outside of Nashville,



Do you know that history?

When President Jefferson in

an Undaunted Courage sent

York, Rodgers and Sacagawea

across the unknown, soon to be

stolen land, only to have Leland

Stanford, finally finish the deed.

Gold, driven into a steel road –

connecting east to west. And

John Henry died for our sins!

Custer was not a friend.

The Ghost Dances around this

pen like a children’s round –

ring around the Rosie

we are all going to die!


I sit silent in this spot

listening to the locals’ moan of

how everything they love, is on loan

and how the Indian folks are not

welcome. So, the Americans seek jobs

and sink their money into the Dollar General.

Never asking the Indians where they



Never talking to the Indian’s kid

who goes to school at Breckinridge County

high, middle or low. And on the outskirts

a mom and pop has become a Motorcycle

Club. Charlie has made it

here and now they can sell beer and

whine about heroin, waving flags

while we are still at war in



The people at the spot

watch as a black kid was shot

far away in Louisville.

The news locality and reality

not known to the consumers

of this media they ask,

“what did he do?”

He should have not run when

the police said, “stop!”

or “I’ll shoot.” Like this is

the American West and we are

in a duel. High noon, and they

are the news sheriff in town.

Hopped up on a Facebook rant,

a public stance.


The nice lady takes my check –

I pay the bill and she looks at

me funny when I suggest that

they should burn the Dollar General

down! The Wal-Mart in Leitchfield,

20 miles away, knows that they are

“at risk” of losing control of

the market as outposts of another

bank, set up shop in neighboring

small towns. Their patrons trickle down

to a crawl. The mighty Dollar General,

has them surrounded!


And remember, this is the Fourth of

July weekend, we make it or break it –

if, Mother Nature, “cooperates!”

These few days the city folks,

like the church goers on Easter,

many will not return next week,

or the week after that.

The motorcycle club will remain –

the money syphoned off and

the children sent away to fight

for this way of life. A small tank

of gas for that bass boat.

The Corpse of Engineers told us

this place would redeem our souls and

fill our pocket books.


Outside a Mennonite sells his goods,

his children pulling the load

on a bike, his wife waving a basket

from wood reaped from a fallen barn.

Crosses on the roadside symbolize the

fallen savior. An American flag

waves – Chinese fireworks are sold for

pennies on the dollar.


A confederate flag on a truck,

menacing history of states’ rights –

plantation slaves, but, what about

those “foreigners?” The Indian

family venture that bought that

bankrupt gas station. Where do

they spend their money?


What about the Amish? Do they

pay their debts to a society that

they are escaping from?

May the farce be with you!

Happy Fourth of July.

Can we talk revolution?


06-28-2017 P.M.


My boy sits glued to an epic

journey. The little people, slay

a dragon. I am alone, down the

hill reciting poetry to

the woods. A deer quietly on

the path, like a child sneaking

something, slips into the forest.

Like this, this time, relative to

this moment. Stories of old

and words from a heart, old,

perspectives known and teachers

of conscience in kind.


I have gone into the soul

in search of big words to

describe methods – I have none!

My tongue and fingers only

mimicking what my ears and

eyes have found.


The forceful beatings of

my heart cannot be extracted!

Language is bound by time –

from where this body gets it’s

electricity, is not known to me and

faith is my favorite conversation!

My son’s movie ends with the words,

“what have we done?” As the mythical

dragon flies away into a darkness.


I ask of you dear reader …

What makes you tick?

Wakes you, sweating?

Causes you to love?

What is the matter that is

so far reaching, expanding –

our minds, can never



06-29-2017 A.M


Waiting, this next chapter starts

with you. Like union!

This boy will one day be gone.

We will be worried …

Like when before he was born,

and we did not seek to know who

was arriving. Naturally patient


When I whispered into your ear,

“Jonah is here,” and in the name of God

the most merciful and most compassionate.

We named our son after a Prophet,

who was used to teach judgement / anger.

Many times, we have been swallowed

by a whale! Judged and be judged –

spit out. Our family difficulties, trust –

I sharpen a new pencil,

the old one,

worn away.

This one, has a brand-new erasure!

Our old life can be edited, memories

drawn upon, we can move from there

to where we want to go!

Like birth includes death!

Like work includes thirst and rest.


Thinking in stories


A friend suggested that I am the

way that I am …

because I think in stories.

A narrative, who am I?

Once upon a time – whee go …

word association.

Family – Tree

Brother – Sister

Mother – Father

Beginning – End

I suggest, peeling an onion to

find layer after story, like water

ripples, the little waves

disperse in all directions.

The rock falls through

stratification. Light reflected

from the splash, a rainbow –

a miracle of light and sound.

One second, one instant –

gone – silence.


06-29-2017 P.M.


It is time –

I, has lost!

To be of service!

A Father – husband

partner – sometimes

like watching a child

fail, not knowing what

to say – offering a strong

hug – just a look –

glance – a heartfelt tear.

I feel it – with you!

These words, like a mirror.

I am just a man of few words –

a man burning away!

It is time

to stop –

support –



cry no more –

I love









06-30-2017 6:30 A.M


Jonah, M’boy – sleeping in

a tent, my 47-year-old bones

walk up the hill to coffee

and this pencil.


I am doing this to get back

years lost – no one seems to

understand me when I tell



I worked for the railroad.


I quit with Joe Watson on my

mind, he retired on Tuesday

and died in his sleep on Thursday.

Never saw a retirement check!


There were many like him.

So, for this week – I play catch up.

I missed a many family weekend,

many a precious moment.

You do the math –


70 hours a week, 12 hours down

and 12 hours back, 10 hours goes by,

and your back on the rail, again.


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