It is enough to sit with great trees and wonder, wild with wonder from a wilder God and an earlier time, how my mother passed on this gift fueling me over these decades one after another in gestures passed on from emerging stones calling for twice daily tides.

From the beach, to off road.
101 to Emandal Farm out of Willits.
101 to 20. 20 to 1.
1 to Bolinas Fairfax Road,
road with 300 curves.
Turning and turning.
Turning around in America.
18 days in September.
The September Meditations.

Emandall, the way. The road. The map.


They arrived like poems.
They arrived with questions.

How did you get here?
Where did you come from?

Words. Notebooks. A camera. Even the camera brings questions. But video?

What it gives and takes away.

What you don't have to do it right.

All that.     


The Mothership and what it makes possible. Comfort. And off road. Especially off-road. The Dodge. One thing though, you've been with this word for fifteen years: Storypath/Cuentocamino.

Karen wanted some beaches on the way south, into and through, Oregon. To a destination point. An off-road art retreat week at Emandal Farm fifteen miles outside of Willits, California, carrying her sewing machine for a collage-landscape quilting workshop.

We stopped that night, inland, at Tillamook.

And there it was. First of the Meditations. Walking past the rabbits with my camera, I was just looking around. The sound of water. Not just slowing down. But stopping. Getting closer. Paying that much attention. How long can one hold the camera steady. Sometimes you can't carry a tripod. Sometimes you can.

They arrived like poems.
They arrived with questions.

Meditation on the Stone in the ocean. The surf and the stone and the camera during September. During the time of the fires. The first day of clearing. All that comes up and what it looks like. Lincoln City, the beach stone. The second meditation.

My own history with cameras. How easy. How difficult.

I come into the museum deaf and blind. Not knowing. Not how or what. Disconnected. Connection. Putting the camera down, on my walking shoes, that's an accident born of camera etiquette. Still, my biases, fully present.

Tomas Orn Tomasson is the musician in the bathtub.

From Munson Creek into the Tillamook River. Past the rabbits and blackberries, looking around, maybe for stones. Maybe just looking around. How did we stop here? Where are we? And why? How long can I keep the camera on this water? Holding it, yes. Being steady for the music. Being here. Listening for instructions. First of the meditations.

An instrument of objective seeing. Not objective, but practice in the objective. Another way into wonder. After the first meditation. Invitation was everywhere.

Self-effacement of the photographer. Is that objective? Don't think so. But a way. "Stare," Walker Evans says, "It is the only way to educate your eye. Stare, listen, pry, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." In sitting still, camera ready, you don't know what or who will come into view. Tycoon, from the Japanese, taikun, Great Prince. Things that are there. Anywhere. Everywhere. Easily found, not easily interpreted. What followers found. Robert Frank. "Punctured and residual remnant," in the elder's words.

But here, too, in the image, the possibility of love, being better loved, in the image. Loving in this moment, feeling something inside this thing that is new. Not hiding, but in fact, a coming out. Coming out of. Into this moment, this experience. Into essence, chance, wonder.

Walker Evans and the Post Card


Mothership, studio ship, Zendo.
Study ship. Dizzy ship. Vertigo.
Dreamship. Crazy Cloud Habitat.



An earned varnish, now on the marriage.
More than 50 years of knowing.
Mothership on the road, traveling
to the farm off-grid on 101, northern California.

A rare breakfast in a restaurant, in Willets.

She reads him the directions to the farm,
20-some miles in, off Commercial Street.
Set your car's trip mileage odometer now.
Pass Noyo Theatre on right, City Park on left,
continue straight. When you are 1 1/2 miles
from Willits, you will come to a Y,
with O'Leary's Red Barn Feed Store
of to your right, veer left. You will now be on
Hearst Willits Road, County Road 306.
This road will curve again to your right.
When you are almost out of the valley,
you will come to the junction of 306
and 308 Canyon Road. Continue straight
on 308 Canyon Road. You will cross
a small single lane bridge, 3.9 miles from Willits,
and start up the canyon. Canyon Road
is paved, but gets narrow. So be careful.
About 7.4 miles from Willits
you will come to another Y in the road.
Turn left and go across a cement bridge.
The road now becomes Tomki Road
and will soon become unpaved.
Continue on Tomki Road until you come
to a T Intersection. If you were to go straight,
you would turn into someone's driveway.
If you go left you end up in Tomki Creek.
Therefore, take a sharp right hand turn
up the mountain. You are now
back on Hearst Willits Road.

Go up and down and around and about
on this road--past Foster Mountain Road
(veer left) until you reach the Eel River.
It will be on your left-hand side
with a sheep farm on its north bank.
About this time you'll also see a little cabin
and then a home on your right.
As you continue straight, you'll notice
a big silver bridge to your left--
do not go left over the bridge.
Directly in front of you the road curves left
towards the bridge; you'll see a group
of mailboxes on your right,
and an Emandal sign on a tree, stay right.
The road splits again just a short distance
after the first Y. Stay to the right.
Follow this road past the lower Vineyard,
past the Emandal Sign, past the Staff Housing,
all the way to Emandal. The road ends at the farm.

If you have questions, call,
but realize that cell phone reception ends
once you leave the Willits Valley
and our phone could remain unanswered.

listening to Karen reading,
trying to follow instructions,
in the Mothership, ducking branches.

15 September 2016



On the lawn chair
reading Thoreau
miner's light beams

bees flying between
light on my forehead
and the light

on white page
where I write
I am wrapped

in the arms
of old redwoods,
famous elders

with their names
individual, proper
and grand, smoke

in air, We know
we are breathing
ashes of dead trees

I have come
to the place in Journal
where Thoreau started

that fire. A fire
that burned
100 acres He

had borrowed
a single match
having forgotten

to bring one along
On another
occasion, another

fire, the fire
seemed to snort
like a wild horse,

he heard, between
the dying steam

the last sigh,
the fine, clear,
shrill scream

of agony
of the trees
breathing their last

12 September 2017




This, the quietest camp.
People, families whispering
among themselves,
respecting the silence, brought
into it, keeping it, a place
not to break silence.
With Karen, quiet.

Wake and wonder.
Wake and wonder.
Time, what time it is, this time.

I open Thoreau's Journal.
He has measured tree ferns
six feet in circumference.
I have to see these trees for Thoreau.
I will write a report
and send it to him. These
tree ferns named by him,
on Van Demien's land.
He says, We remembered how we itched,
but not how our hearts beat.
That is enough to fill
the mothership with love.
Minutes ago, waking, I wanted
the night to hurry up and end
so that I might have coffee
and see these ancient elders
in this worship-wonder time
given me for revel.


After leaving Karen,
search Eel River
Suiseki stones mapping serpentine
emerging from ocean floor

And where to sleep

Fires everywhere you're asking about
the Ranger says, Take 20 out of Willits.



This forest clear-cut in 1904.
This, a demonstration forest, California replant.

Watersong. Running water over-stone sound.
Find it. And Crickets. Coffee and 3 Ibuprofin.
Someone leaves four pieces of firewood,
no fires for me. Not now. Not here.

Where am I? Near Ft. Bragg.
Camp Mothership. Camp Highway 20.
Four nights alone with trees.
Where am I? Without Karen.
With and out. Too tired. Getting real.
Where am I? A week into walking.
Where am I? With Thoreau, in the wild,
wild for contact, contacting with Hinton,
poetry wild in the wild.
Where am I? Reading the outhouse door.
Mountain lions. Be careful. Every gesture, wild.

A little context.
50 years ago today, finishing my first month
in Vietnam, a colonial war, wonder country too,
what Merwin showed us in early poems,
the indigenous are not equipped
to survive modern warfare, I'm
evacuating young soldiers wounded
in battles called firefights, in jungle heat,
the 85th Evacuation Hospital,
Qui Nhon, on the South China Sea.

Where am I? Beginning what I'd asked for.
Four days off grid, by myself, practicing.
Practicing what? Practicing.
Still dark. Here. Miner's light in Mothership.

Henry David Thoreau: The night is oracular.
What have been the intimations of the night?
I ask, How have you passed the night? Good night.

My facts shall be falsehoods to the common sense.
'Says to myself' should be the motto of my journal.

Looking up from Thoreau's Journal, I see it getting light.
I put on my shoes, then cut the heat to Little Buddy, propane heat.
Almost ready for breakfast, thinking of picked blackberries
added to granola. I want to walk the campground.

If there is not something mystical in your explanation, something
unexplainable to the understanding, some element of mystery, it
is quite insufficient. If there is nothing in it which speaks to my
imagination, what boots it? 25 Dec 1851, The Journal. HDT.

14 September 2017



Music in traffic
Listening to John Cage's smile
Trafficking silence



Getting trees out, a problem from the get-go.
They'd find a way. In the 1850s Thoreau reads about it.
The mill dream, even hard to cut. Casper.
Casper Lumber Company came.
The water's not a creek, North Fork Big River.
Where I am. Robert Horvard, Cal State Fire,
pulls his pickup into Solitary Camp.
I pull out a chair. He talks forest re-plant.
State Demonstration Forest begins 1947.
We grow more than we cut. Trees
pay our salaries, fund other parks.
Tanoak, Doug Fir, Redwoods,
with their stringy bark, grandly
surrounding my camp. Notebook opens
itself to the wild. Thoreau turns 35,
July 12, 1852. Dusk. Cooler.
I add a jacket as needles and leaves fall.
Casper was named after the ship from China
that wrecked off the coast in 1852.
San Francisco needed these trees.
Man named Jackson figured this out.
Mills, ships, finally a railroad.
A series of three dams moves logs
down Casper Creek. The way
to clear-cutting found out how.

Robert Horvard studied foresting,
worked in private sector. Re-grow, re-harvest.
He gives me a map and head-up on horses
coming in tomorrow, directs me to reserve
of old-growth redwoods graced by waterfall
at Chamberland Creek. A day reading poems
putting videocamera on tripod,
meditating on river-sound, slow-moving needles
in river water, filming the slow-down of the mind.

Only the camera can see these stones,
this water moving under the surface.
Thoreau stood for hours in water
without lenses to bring him closer.
How long can I film without breaking?
The camera records sounds my ears can't hear.
I worry about highway traffice, but isn't that,
too, part of what's wild? Immediate,
open to contact. Everything
unscripted, me, and me following.
Recording a visitation, not improving,
not interpreting, steady un-consciousness.
Not any part more.
Falling or dying,
a limited technician imaging what can be seen.

What might be written.

Thoreau's obey and transcend.
Belonging to all and only what's real.
Enlightented moments when I'm not.

A little context: The natural world being itself.

A little context: Karen at Emandal Farm, surrounded
by cosmic threads texturing a cosmic world unfolding itself.
Karen, cosmic mystery.

A little context: Once I had heard the command to quit
censoring traffic on the highway, I said to myself,
OK, record any traffic and admit it into the record as music.
With the water sounds. It becomes clearer, easier.
I'm a long way from sound-proof,
no room trying to control sounds. The next step,
move the tripod and camera to highway and trees.
I'm not altogether there. It looks--even here--
political, with hidden motive, and out of context.
I have not evolved. The camera is neutral.
The heard music will never arrive.
My own interference damning joy.



Knowing myself, some, it doesn't surprise me, how possessive
I've become of this camp. Last evening two young men in a Dodge
van pull into Campsite #3, where I've been accessing the river. I'm
no longer alone. I take immediate offense. I feel my body tightening
around itself, feeling a narrower path between trees, my throat dry.
The two men are quiet, set up a kind of plastic shelter leading from
their van, allowing visual access to woods and river. Not so much for
accessing stars, being too far under trees. We wave a couple of times,
warily, exchanging no words. They are extraordinarily quiet, leaving my
complaint without merit. They pack up early, left shortly after. Their camp,
clean. After I settle,

I cross the river with tripod and video camera, walking over stones.
I want to film pine needles gathered around the log dam created
for foot crossing. While there, I walk into horse camp and find the trail,
a common one, magnificent, considering that you're walking through
redwoods, and I film one short meditation where five redwoods have
re-sprouted themselves (before I was born?) around a cut-down mother stump.
The circle of trees, a tall and healthy family.

It is warming, but still cooler than yesterday, and I'm wearing my Patagonia
jacket I got before hiking the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier two years
ago following my 70th birthday. I have a scant ten minutes of video battery
remaining, and I will save that for re-uniting with Karen on Sunday.

I milk the sky and earth. HDT.

A hard, insensible whom we liken to a rock, is indeed much harder
than a rock. From hard, coarse, insensible men with whom I have no 
sympathy, I go go communicate with the rocks, whose hearts
are comparatively soft. 15 Nov 1853. HDT



Dappled light through trees on water
dizzies me, and I lean on tripod for balance.
Spots of light in Wordsworth confusing time.
Side light singled out in September, that

light. On redwood trees, on trunk
of moss-covered tanoak. I move the chair
to catch last light as sun drops
deeper into trees. Winter for Thoreau

when he could skate, loving to go fast.
He calls 1855 the winter of skating.
Good skating from the mouth to saxonville
measuring in a straight line some twenty-

two miles by the river, say thirty now,
Concord midway. As a boy I strapped on
those skates in North Dakota. Weather's
important to describe, he says, as it

affects our feelings. I've carried watermelon
from Yakima Valley for this moment,
and set two plates, one for Thoreau
carrying watermelon hiking to drink.

Abundant juice alongside deep yearning.
The yearning breast no one answers.
Thoreau knocks on earth, his friend
never frivolous, with natural manners.

Thoreau called to deep waters, while
companions only walk on shallows
and puddles...two yards of politeness
do not make society for me, nor me--

yet this is what I long to share
with Karen when we re-unite on Sunday.
Closer to Thoreau than myself here,
classroom dreams and election dreams,

all new versions of Kansas,
slave or free? Admission with commitment
to slavery. the state of being united,
but so is a man a locked-up chest.

Jim Bodeen
15 September Journal--11 October 2017



Following these direction you will end up
where you don't want to be. Following to here,
you will encounter the danger that calls you,
call it residual toxin from war, this shadow
in the deep heart of your country. Enjoy,
and don't get lost, he says. Miss the first
turn and turn around. Too far now, the road
too narrow for much and a two-foot shoulder.

According to the odometer, the map
and the forester's instructions, this is the trail
off the road from the correction center.
Park the mothership and cross creek
over three wooden pallets making the bridge.
I'm looking for a .2 mile marker.
Won't go beyond this alone. Here's a sign.
A sign all right. Read the danger.
This is a target range hidden
in the deep woods of America.
A mess of shell casings.
A mess of cartridge boxes.
Human outlines remembered targets.

There is no coverage in your cell phone.
Turn around now. Now. Get out.
Begin walking and get out of here,
no more virgin America for you, soldier.
This is not the stand you're looking for.

Jim Bodeen
17 September--11 October 2017



Karen-vision bringing us to this point,
artist-retreat quilt landscape collage,
me, camped in woods with camera and notebook:
5 days like this. I'm early.

The blue building. All blue.
U WASH, all caps in White.
I'll be out front with big towel, waving.

Sunday morning!

Jim Bodeen
11 October 2011




Too early to thread anything
All threads laying here, good
Karen breathing
Mothership warmer with two threading bodies
Crazy Cloud and Mother Quilt
Witness and testimony,
wondering thread

Wandering thread
Threads of wonder
Wandering in wonder
What's up
What's coming up
Upcoming thread
Why so wide awake
Why wake at all
Why not
Why not thread
Where are we
Why are we
Why we

Threads wonder
Wondering threads
Under thread
Threads of beauty
Beauty thread
Old-fashioned red thread
Stafford's thread
Thread up
Blue Thread
And gold

O thread
Never-ending thread
Bobbins of thread
Karen's thread

The Museum and the Thread
Plain thread
Threads of fancy
New threads
Thread the--Stop!
Needles and pins and
British thread
The Brits
Fancy thread
Me and thread
Threading me

Thread up

Get up to clip my nail
Back to thread
Thread and Us
Fred's thread
The thread buzzing your ear

When thread and I
Cut this thread
Thread yourself
Thread in the OED
Thread by Beckett
Krapp's last thread
Studies in spool

Jim Bodeen
18 September 2017




Which way? I ask Karen,
who sees a sign to the right.
That sign, Bolinas-Fairfax Road
might just get us off this mountain.
It doesn't. It takes us inside the mountain.

Karen's found the way inside.

Which way? Karen asks, again,
thinking there are two.
On the left is a stand of redwoods
in a clearing. As I pull out,
two men in hats. Let's see
who they are, I say.

Two men crawling from chaparral.
That's what they say. One is the one
who wrote the book on this road.
Brian Crawford. We'll find that book,
we say, saying goodbye. First illustration's
a drawing with a horse and buggy
going around redwoods near San Rafael
close to where we're camped.

The Motherquilt.

A Road to Peak Experience: One That Knows How to Hug Its Mountain

A Book Review of Bolinas Fairfax Road by Brian Crawford

Descending Mt. Tamalpais on a literary-hiking pilgrimage, carrying the poems
of poets whose presence remains in this preserve, we encountered Brian Crawford
and friend emerging from the chaparral, using their hats as shields. The friend tells us
about the book. It's a beauty, complete with photos, lore, and struggles to build,
and maintain, one of the stunniing roads in America. Readers learn of the road's
early past, an early treasure of a treasured landscape and symbol. A prize of local
hikers and conservationists. A road worthy of its surroundings. An early stage coach
route. A link to the peak of Mt. Tam. This is local history at its best. Those who live with,
and know the area (who may or may not know the history), have been given a gift.
This book will do the rare thing--it will raise their property value. There may be
consequences for not including it in their libraries, or for not celebrating this book.
For outsiders, well, you want a road trip? We were so delightfully lost, and we found
what came from the brush. This is a book that's looking for the poets who know
the history of the lookouts, other writers who have circumabulated
the mountain.

Jim Bodeen

From Crawford: Sometimes called Bofax
with locals, famously narrow, two-lane blacktop
through dense redwoods. At Bolinas Ridge
Pacific Ocean 1500 feet below.
Car scenes in movies? Uhhhuh.
A less-crowded route to Mt. Tamalpais.
Less than 20 miles long, more than 300 turns,
some so tight,...every drive's an adventure.
An old stage coach road.

For many years hard to get to Bolinas at all.
Take a schooner from SanFrancisco.
71/2 miles in a straight line but the road takes 20.                

The day on Mt. Tam, the beloved mountain

Looking at the videos, recording what happens.
The poets, the cross, the deer, buck and fawn.
The missed day the day before.
David Hinton and his book.
Individual photos from each video.
Exhaustion and exhausting it.
Each video meditation a poem.
Each with its own stills.
Especially Thoreau
Build it around Thoreau? Start there.
Why not?




Nanao or Never, name of the book.
Nanao Sakaki. Never heard of him.
The green arcade, doors open,
bookstore in the hub, place
Admitting to being lost.

If you have time to read
walk into mountain

A way of saying Thank you.

At bus stop
by barber shop on Haight,
Nanao a radar tech
near end of war,

last plane he tracks,
the final bomb,
off the B-29
dropped on Nagasake,

the day of my birth
placing us in time

Snyder asking questions
Kokorozashi, vision for change

Early photographs walking
Bus #7 to Golden Gate Park

how it arrives, catching it,
September sun off glass

Jim Bodeen
Sept17--9 October, 2017



"We did."




Tyrone Wilson as Falstaff.
Take a knee. Usually played
with great reviews by G. Valmont Thomas.
Who we came to see.
Would we be disappointed?
Would he be large enough?
Would he make us laugh?
More importantly, would he make us cry?

Here he is, Tyrone Wilson,
More than enough, breaking us
down, quietly,
(breaking himself?),
were those his tears
in front of Prince Hal's
ridicule and sarcasm?
His clothes and costume helping
to create his size, temporarily
hiding the body.
Temporarily, for inside this
corporeal Falstaff
is an athlete, with an athlete's body,
and every emotion that emerges
sideways in the body,
revealed in facial expression
and eyes. Tyrone Wilson
took a knee for America last night,
giving us grief, and permission
to feel our grief
as Americans,
as citizens of the world,
suffering at the hands
of this make-believe
president, this bone-spur
in the White House.

My job today:
find my way to thanking
Tyrone Wilson,
taking a knee for us all.
We didn't even know,
last night.
So subtle, the audience,
tepid, like our communities.
Nine bows, Mr. Wilson.

Jim Bodeen
24 September 2017



Infinite Flow
Where is the disability?
Dance for inclusion
A wheelchair dance company

We miss the introduction.
We watch them dance.
We ask ourselves, It's beautiful, but why?
They're not disabled.

We don't know anything
but we don't have trouble
saying so much
about what we see.

Social and moving.
In-fuse, in-close, all,
enclose. Daily way

Wheel chair airing.

Jim Bodeen
5 October 2017



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