Dogs 2007

MY FAVORITE SONG
(6/14/07)


I left
Tulsa today
at 1:11 pm
(a triple unity...
singular trinity?)
bound for a town
a bit northwest
of Omaha

I make
the trip
two or three
times a year
depending upon
the prevailing
relative demands

it's a substitute
home turf
for both sides
of the family
transplanted German folk
drunken peasant stock
from a late
19th century
Fatherland

for some
timely reason
my trips north
usually occur either
in the summer heat
or in the frigid
snow and ice
of winter
and my vehicle
configuration
consists of windows
rolled up tightly
the AC
or heater
blowing counter-seasonal
winds
and heavy metal
soaking the interior
making the sedate
pasture lands
come alive
with some
sonic
intensity

this trip
even though
in the middle
of June
is different
the temperature
in a reasonable range
of 80's
and cloudy skies
blocking the radiation
of Mr. Sun

leaving work
at noon
and heading
for home
I roll down
both truck windows
to enjoy
the post-rain freshness
of the outside
air

stopping
to pack some clothes
and gather some food
for the journey
I lock the house
and once back
in the Nissan
decide
that I would at least
begin my travel
al fresco
until the heat
or wind
becomes
uncomfortable

of course
there is still
the rock and roll
but when the first cassette
(it's an old truck)
comes to an end
at the Kansas
border
I notice
the sounds
of the road
flowing beneath me
the rustle
of the windblown trees
the calls
of the foraging birds
as well as
the accompanying
mechanical strains
of my fellow travelers

it is quite
the fugue

damn
it's been more
than twenty years
since my last trip
of any distance
with the simplicity
of opened windows
for ventilation
and entertainment

what happened
to that fresh air freak
of my youth?

I listen
to that cacophony
of kinetic energy
passing
all around me
the rhythm
of the road
and the lyrics
of my own thoughts
blending
into the scenery

Kansas
for the first time
comes alive
about me

as I cross
into Nebraska
I notice
more and more
the smells
riding the waves
of natural
music

the earth
the crops
the streams
all bring odors
to me
reminding me
of my youth

even
the manure
of the barnyards
smells natural
instead
of nauseating

I was born here
and something
inside me
still connects
to this land

as I transit
South Omaha
on the ten-lane
claustrophobia
of I-80
I am still attune
to the exterior
and instead of feeling
the usual angst
of the rush
I feel a part
of that river
of vehicular
humanity
floating at speed
but calm
in my motion

I do not
remember
the last occurrence
of this particular
peaceful awareness

where
sex
drugs
money
wild living
and alcohol
all fails me
a basic satori
of environment
and inner
acceptance
delivers
an unspoken promise
of tranquility

back
in the farmlands
I reach my
small-town destination
at sunset
(no kidding)
drive up the hill
to Grandma's house
(an actual factual)
sneak inside
so as not
to wake her
and sit upstairs
in an antique guest room
keying this laptop
as I hum
the melody
of the mobile symphony
now playing
in my head

I need
no other
tune

for now