A Picture of Henry David Thoreau

A Picture of Henry David Thoreau


Louisville, Kentucky

Sitting under the glare of Hunter S Thompson –

at the concreate table outside of the coffee house

my Mother loved, next to the bookstore she

used to drag us kids into years ago –

the carpenter bees visit the passion flowers as

I fall into a well of thought.

Just one opening of the door, and an image –

a book stares at me, and the bearded David

is sitting on the display table – and over

on a different shelf almost all of Wendell

Berry’s works are hand signed – no mark up

applied to the printed price – a massive cloud

just above, orange hue silver linings – my friends

the mockingbirds are singing – little chirping birds –

talking, talking, talking – but those bees! They root

through over grown vines to find a spectacle of a flower.

I miss my friend John Hagan – we used to sit at

this table – minds wandering, words flowing

alive with conversation – I feel him now. I

can still see him walking down the street –

his glide, hop of innocent happiness,

his loving smile greeting on arrival.

The smell of food, spices and flowers fill the

light breeze as my gaze goes looking up

to that cloud – I think funny honest thoughts.

What if Thoreau was married?

That story he wrote would have been quite different!

What if the Dali Llama had a teenager, rebelling just to rebel?

What were those conversations

we used to have here all about?

I, like Rumi long for my friend!

The Friend!

It is easy to write poetry if your intended audience is God!

These words may or may not matter!

That cloud is gone just like the memory of

many nights, walking these streets, on this road –

years ago –

ecstatically manic and following the thoughts

and words of Bawa, my Sufi teacher! It is easy to

write if your mentor gives you a job, and then

the next thing you know you have half the

shelf dedicated to bringing to life the words of a whirling

dervish. As the sun sets on Hunter, his memory

as large as a building – this paper is coming to an

end – My honesty takes over and my pen could say what is

really on my mind!

But the the feller at the bookstore just walked

by carrying garbage to the dumpster – so I won’t get mad and

let this pen write that I don’t know why I think I should keep going.

Maybe, I should keep my inspiration quiet?

Keep it to myself.

I am waiting for a sign- but all I seem to get is another sun set.

Another cup of coffee – another worried mind,

another mindful thought before I go –

this paper is almost gone!

I was asked by a mad farmer why I decided to write poetry …

My answer was:

“I don’t know.”

I told Wendell Berry once that I had not read all his works.

He said:

“You don’t have to!”

John Paul


2 thoughts on “A Picture of Henry David Thoreau

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