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Travel (standard:poetry, 521 words)
Author: Billy Jack BaxterAdded: Sep 23 2003Views/Reads: 2326/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A study in contrast of two places I truly love.


I imagine myself sitting on the porch watching the sun spill over
themountains coloring the autumn leaves. 

I feel the gentle rock of the boat on the Gulf and gaze at the
purple-red sky in the late afternoon. I feel the strong tug of my line 
when my bait fools a lazy grouper. 

I smell the smoke of pinon and cedar in the fireplaces as it rises from
quaint adobe chimneys. 

I can feel the snow white sand so fine it squeaks when you lazily drag
your feet. I smell the chilies roasting in their large squirrel cages 
in the valley and the smell of oysters, boiled shrimp and stale beer on 
ancient wood floors in the Gulf Coast bars. 

My eyes feast on hollyhocks and Lombardy poplars that give color and
outline the roads and shield the wind on the desert plains. 

I smell gardenias and magnolias and my eyes devour the azaleas and
dogwoods that bloom at Easter in the South. I feel the warm humid ocean 
breezes in my hair as I cruise down AIA, 150 miles down in the Keys. I 
smile and laugh at the sights and sounds of the nightlife at the Tiki 
Bar at Islamorada and Sloppy Joe's and Captain Tony's on Duval Street 
in Key West. 

I can taste that green chile stew and hear the old boards creak on the
floor at the Los Ojos Bar in Jemez Hot Springs. I smell that queer 
sweet smell of artesian reservoirs where I would swim as a kid. I feel 
the temperature change from cool to cold as I drive by irrigated 
alfalfa fields in the Pecos Valley on a warm summer night. 

I taste the salt on my lips when it dries after a swim in the Gulf and
feel the raw power of the surf as my board catches a wave out on the 

And, I imagine the cottonwood leaves spiraling down without a sound on a
crisp New Mexico evening.  Spiraling down so softly ..... like the 
stars are shedding ashes. 

I can see these things, feel, smell and taste these things. All I have
to do is go to that room in my mind, close and lock the door. I will 
not let the noise and insanity of this vile place enter this room. This 
is the room of silence, of deep meditation, of peace andfreedom. It is 
not a room of dreams but a quiet room and the gateway to real places I 
can visit. Itis not a room of sleep, for sleep is only a brief export 
to some dark, vacant place I rarely later recall. 

If only for a brief moment, this room keeps me sane in this insane
moment in time. But now I must unlock the door and go out into the now 
and this reality I must face. These rooms and doors are the key to my 
survival in this nightmare than only we can imagine. Always keep the 
doors and locks oiled for easy access. Never underestimate the power of 
your mind, for your mind can set you free. 

Billy Jack 


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