Friday, April 25, 2014

The Land of the Ahwahnechee

Why journey to the meadows
Why gather in the groves
Why commune along the water's edge
Why read the etchings in the rock

Why study the ways of old
And teach the younger ones of times gone by
Why listen to the voices on the wind
Why bushcraft

Why do these elements call to us
Why draw us nearer with each passing snowmelt
Why spark the embers within our hearts
And stoke the fires within their rings

Brother winds and Sister waters
Blow across the rock of their Mother
Tiny droplets gather together
With grains of dust and alluvium
To form the soils of generations

Reeds and grasses sink deep roots here
Congregate and grow together
Twist and twine their way around
Interwoven in their very being
Vessels of life to hold the future

Their seeds spread with the wind's breath
And without going down certain trails
Nor following paths of oils encasing
But rather flowing with waters
In stony stream bed courses
They bury themselves in the banks
That the currents have undercut

Above them the distant thunder rumbles
And the mountains quake and give way
Peeling back layers to the core
Of truths being exposed to the light

As the lightening calls to them
To let their voices join the thunder
Reverberating off the walls that surround
To stir the waters and quicken the pulse

So that given time
They may wash over and smooth
The past's jagged edges
Of freshly fallen boulders in the stream beds

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Woodsman's Elixir

When the early spring comes to the North
Before the buds have awakened from winter
And come into their essence unfolded
The guitar twangs its tune's delight

Twinkling on the strings like the rains from the heavens
Harmonizing with elixirs flowing life
As rivers in the sapwood flush their banks
Deep in the mirkwood hollow swamps

The birch guzzle their earthly waters
Drenched in wintergreen flavors coursing through
As the woodsman's taps return the favor
Roaming the glades in shades of nostalgia

And the hand carved kuksa ring and rejoice
Beaming to the brim of their revelry
As the tree frogs echo their joy in the harvest
Keeping time to the drip pot stomp

Inspired by Alex Yerks' latest pics and instructional movie on how to tap a birch tree the old fashioned way.
Pics and movie used with his permission. Thanks Alex.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

AC Myles Musical Intermission

The best blues guitarist in the country is back! Sorry to all you other guitarist folk out there, but it's true. He'll tell us he ain't the best because that's his modest way, but go ahead and go toe to toe with the guy if you want. My money's on the dude from Fresno. The best way I can describe his style is that he plays Stevie Ray Vaughan tunes with the fluidity of Jimi Page. No joke. In fact, I think he actually conjures up a little Jimi Page juju whenever he pleases. The thing is, he just makes it look so damn easy to play. Just find him on YouTube and you'll see.

He's upped his suit and jacket game too. I would assume there comes a time in every good bluesman's life when it's 90+ degrees out and you're layin' down some sweltering hot licks in a dad-gum suit when you have already realized that you might be pretty good at this gig.

I've seen him play about a dozen times, and the most memorable besides playing on our wedding day was when he played in a little joint in my hometown called The Hot Pepper. It was a small restaurant with only about room for the 20 people in there, but my wife to be and I had a table for two right close to the band. And if that wasn't the best damn blues display I ever seen! They played a rendition of Hendrix's Voodoo Chile that was spot on to the T!   Even down to the distortion that perfectly mirrored the album version. I mean nailed it perfect! Hot I tell ya!

So now, After a couple years World and US tour playing for John Nemeth alongside Kid Andersen and gang, AC's back home and just cut a new album at Kid's studio. It ain't out yet, but it's coming and I'll post an update when it hits. It's called Reconsider Me.

Here's a video of him jammin' and another of him touring with John Nemeth. Also check out John's double disk Live album. AC and Kid are in that lineup and it is pure Fire!

So ladies and gentlemen, without further adieu, AC Myles....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Trapping the Muse

She is not as of the ancient Athena
Of beauty untold bathing
In marbled stone pools perched
In courtyard of the mountaintop temple

More a phantom in the trees
A wisp on the breeze
Floating in and out from brush to brush
Appearing and the next instant gone

Haunting the thick chaparral
As a small creature of the hillsides
Hidden in silence like the hare

I study her ways
Watch intently and take notes
Scratch sketches upon paper
Glass her from afar
She is illusive

I check bait along the traplines
Clack horns and mouth calls
Or sit silent amongst the brush
And lie in wait for days on end

I stick to the basics until drawn
Then flip the set and move on
Over the next ridge on a whim
And reload again and again

She will creep gracefully into the scene
Munching grass and herbs with leisure
My heart pumps blood heavy
With slow anticipation

She sniffs my snares warily
And then to my surprise
Knowingly looks me in the eyes
As I am frozen in amazement

She feeds me images pumping
Her stream of thought consciousness
Rambling on like a rush of waters
As I am now ensnared in her currents

I have coaxed her to this spot
Only to have become trapped myself
Left here in sweet scented sage
She bounds away again free

Sometimes in my wanderings
I see her tracks laid out upon the forest floor
Traces upon the rock
Or deep set clearly in the wet earth

I go to the woods to hunt the words
Fine morsels of meat and flesh
Hidden amongst the vegetation
I am haunted by these ghosts

When I am done for the day
Satisfied with the fruits upon the vine
I gather my quarry and move on
And head for camp to cook my meal

Other days I let time go by
And as I walk along the waters edge
I catch a gleam from the corner of my eye
Of something shiny in the slow moving stream

I reach my arm into the water
And pick her out of the gravel
And place her nugget in my pocket
And move on again over the ridge
For I will be hungry for meat again