I was a bum in ’73

I was a bum in ’73
living off savings
in San Diego

My wife at the time
my first wife
(a 3 year marriage)
attended UCSD
at her parents expense
I can’t remember
what her major was
her parents didn’t like me much
I liked her though

I surfed once in awhile
smoked a lot of weed
and always had a bottle at my side
sometimes a friend too
not a girlfriend

It’s ’15 now
life’s train has dropped
me in dialysis city
that’s where I live
Twin Falls dialysis Idaho

Life’s not bad
I’ve been around
seen a lot
got my Harley
a wife
a nice big fire pit
a place for friends to gather

We talk about the wild days
the biker days
the drugs the rock-n-roll
the fights the accidents
the sauce
the sweet and sour sauce

It’s kind of a wonder
i guess a miracle
that i made it this far
let’s not talk about
my friends who didn’t

this summer i’ll take
my Harley
not my wife
down to Elko
across to Reno
and over Donner Pass

I want to see
some old forest
and old friends

If I time it right
(missing only one treatment)
I probably won’t die

Culture and the Universe by Simon J Ortiz


Two nights ago
in the canyon darkness,
only the half-moon and stars,
only mere men.
Prayer, faith, love,
existence.
             We are measured
by vastness beyond ourselves.
Dark is light.
Stone is rising.

I don’t know
if humankind understands
culture: the act
of being human
is not easy knowledge.

With painted wooden sticks
and feathers, we journey
into the canyon toward stone,
a massive presence
in midwinter.

We stop.
             Lean into me.
             The universe
sings in quiet meditation.

We are wordless:
             I am in you.

Without knowing why
culture needs our knowledge,
we are one self in the canyon.
                                  And the stone wall
I lean upon spins me
wordless and silent
to the reach of stars
and to the heavens within.

It’s not humankind after all
nor is it culture
that limits us.
It is the vastness
we do not enter.
It is the stars
we do not let own us.