Cold rain falls in the river, flows down to the sea, gets into the skyline, circles endlessly. Same old rain on the wind, same old pain in my soul.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Winter Butterfly

Life can be strange. Sometimes things are found where they shouldn’t be. Butterflies do what butterflies do. They know a season and a journey of transformation. I think we see hope in something borne without wings, wrapped in bondage and yet released to fly far in quiet flower-hopping.
Once, on a cold snowy December day, when hope lay shivering in winter’s coffin, I saw a butterfly. Really! I swear I did. Golden brown with two blue spots outlined in green. It led, I followed. The choice was obvious.

I looked upon the fields
of snow and silent seeds,
and dormancy in hush,
as hope fled
in the bleeding of heaviness.

the wind spoke cold in alone
as dreams froze
to cold steel rails
and tools
of rusted labor.

I nodded to the cold blue
of winter sky
and said, “well done, old foe.”
but you looked beyond,
not caring for my sorrow.

and in your indolence,
your arrogance in conquer,
you missed what I could not.

against the backdrop of empty,
in the expanse of extinguish,
it flew on wings of golden brown
and blue-eyed the whisper of hope.

a butterfly in winter.
conceived in Autumn’s dreams,
so far out of season,
impervious to blistered frost
or nature’s harsh order.

it lighted where it would
and laughed to impossible.
it dared the degrees
and cared not for flowers spent.
it’s life was within it’s own,
knowing no dependence
upon the manual.

in the beauty
of broken order,
I followed.

I now know warmth in winter,
snowflakes in July,
and great beauty
in golden brown.

the administrators of this life
wag and hip-swoggle
to our misdeeds
and beauty in chaos.

but we care not.
we fly and we float,
free and fandangled
in seasons
of our own choosing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remembering Chihuahua

How many moments are stolen by the trick of time and place? How many lifetimes are twisted in ruins due to the happenings of chance? Roads have turns and curves. Decisions to be made and speeds to be determined. Most times we just ride the whirlwind, lost to it's power. That is why there is reflection and regret. But who knows of the next moment in passing? Of it's time and place? That is why there is wanderlust and dreams.
it was a fine spring morning,
the mayflies were dancing,
the geese were choosing homes
and I was fishing bluegills

a small bay on a small lake, called Rebekkah.
I expected the peace of aloneness,
but you were there, when the morning fog lifted

young and wild,
deft with the cast,
owning the dock,
but heavy with child

I took to the reeds,
hiding myself in the spy.
your hair flew on summer promise
and the sunfish answered your bidding

the day became lighter
as my thoughts drifted to who,
and when,
and how I had missed your cast

you glanced, sometimes, and smiled.
it filled my stringer.
I wished I could scoop every fish that ever swam
and place them at your feet
but I was too late.
you would fry them for another

that’s not the first time I met you…

I on a troop ship,
away from home, away from my country,
scared and so alone.

You on the rail,
leaving the hell that awaited my innocence.
two ships sliding by steel on blue,
two souls reaching across time.
I would miss you again
by a hundred feet of moment

you smiled just a little,
I looked away in shy.
but turned again, quickly,
to another smile in tender,
as your fingers lifted from the rail
in silent goodbye, to my tear
that cursed our fate.

but that’s not the first time I met you either...

I was crossing Chihuahua,
that fucken hell of sand and death.
running as always
from then and me.

a stolen horse, a gambled purse
and some rain-bleached leather.

not even a town,
just a place men like me knew.
some bad whiskey, stenched water,
and lost souls.

You were there,
and God only knows why.
for a few coins,
a bathe could be had
in water pured by your pour.

for a few coins more,
a body could be washed
and dried by your knowing hands.

I gave the coins,
knew your wash,
and tasted the salt of your labors.
but you were going north,
and I was going south.
both stubborn in our ways,
shit-faced in attitude.

but that’s not the first time I met you…

we’ve met a thousand times
in a thousand moments
in a thousand happenings

we’ve known oceans and mountains
trains and rivers
cities and farms
streams and stones

we were there,
in the garden.

what is a hairs-breadth?
if words not spoken?
hands not taken?
eye’s not met?
time out of sync?

will you be there in a hundred years?
in a thousand?
on a distant planet?

will I smile a crooked smile,
cast a tired eye,
and say, “ah, I’ve met you before.”
will you smile to my fingers wag?

will you fry me fish?
lead me out of great wars?
bathe my filthy body?
share your apple?

I was crossing Chihuahua one day….

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Day With Mom

I’ve written of my Mother before, and of her twisted struggles that tangled her in tortured death. But I’ve never told of the day of indulgence. The day I poured the poison that had long since tagged the toe. Please don't judge me harshly for this or think I excuse it. It just happened. It was all I had left to offer.
My Mother lived much of her last fifteen years in one rehab after another. Pretty good ones. One was Hubert Humphrey’s house. He didn't mind, he was dead. Nothing ever took, though, and eventually the effort was extinguished. Her body was gone. She was rejected for transplant. Only the wait remained.
Many times I would go to the gin mills and ale benches and find my mother there, barely hanging on to swirling stools as others sought to avoid her plague and temper their own. I too, was deeply embarrassed and no doubt displayed so in my demeanor. I stopped drinking and attended AA hoping it would bleed over, but she despised me for it and would taint meals with alcohol secretly as a poisoned apple.
Anyway. one day, within six months of her death, I think, I took her out for the day. It was the middle of the week. It was early. I picked her up and took her anywhere she wanted to go. We hit every saloon within fifty miles and in MN, that’s saying a lot. I took her bowling. She had been a great bowler once. We played cards and pulled losing tabs, we sang and danced to the juke box and I refused to be embarrassed. She drank no more than she would have anyway, just not alone. When the day was far gone, I brought her home and put her to bed.
I didn’t kill her. That had happened long before. For one day, I decided to love her just as she was and not judge her. I chose to be a loving son even if wrong in procedure. Until she died, she talked of that day to anyone who would listen. She beamed in remembrance. She had given up hope for being fixed long ago. We all had. When all hope is gone, so is all fear. If fear is gone what threat can then be administered?
I don’t regret that day of hell raising. I regret every day that I was openly ashamed of her. She is my mother and I love her. Wish I had loved her more. Wish I had Held her and told her, 'It's ok. I gotcha."
I was in Seattle when she died. They called me and told me they were gonna pull the plug at six PM. I went to the airport, had a drink to toast finally rest, and watched the clock tick away the minutes of her life as I waited for departure. Just about the time she took her last breath, I was walking toward the gate as two bald men in strange garb hassled me with their flowers. I tried to be polite and then laughed at the irony. I just walked away with my coat over my shoulder, death in the air and Jerry Garcia echoing the runway. What a long strange trip it's been.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Ruby Red Locket

I’m on the hunt.
borne of necessity, wrapped in fears, weathered in doubt.
the trail winds littered with yesterday’s visions,
all tin and copper and papiermache.

search brings longing, or is it the other?
ckickens and eggs.
necessity just the same

the shadows grow long and deep, as the Sun plays tricks
through leaves of amber.
my mind in hazy gone takes little notice
of the days far passing
and of pathways fade

now a hunger and thirst take hold
to the trails lapse and a journey far spent

the earth is soft here
inviting, yellow and flowing.
my tears free the ease
and feel the draw of hope
to something beyond destinations
and silent stations

through the briar,
the scent of cookies and lime
speak of incongruity
yet perfect sense in ancient knowing

a thousand miles from sea,
I feel a New England breeze tickle my neck
and I follow the salted freshness

a cottage of peach plays my dreams
like trump to a deuce
and in twilights last warning
I find the door
to scented promise

such a fine door
sturdy and miniature castle like.

I smell the cookies baking on sea breeze balloons
and hear the shuffle of feet
as I spy shadows graying the cracks

my eyes take to the knocker
and the wonder of if
as the window’s light
cautions my impudence

instead, a locket, made of ruby red
hangs loose and free, saying you may,
but this only and no more.

a bargain reached, a lift and a twist
and the magic is mine, as I steal away
to the edge of gaited dreams.

it glows in my hand and I draw it to my heart,
swallowed by it’s magic.
hunger and thirst no longer say grace
and careless searchings in hidden longings find rest

enough it should have been,
to warm in it’s glow
but desire is a poor gambler
and the hinges I played

this is where the true magic showed.
the words inscribed danced and regaled
and cheered the wounded heart.
sea breeze cookies and lime peaches filled the air with fulfillment

I felt a pain in my thigh and looked to the cause.
the words before read were now on me carved
and I touched the hot sear

soon I discovered, that upon each new opening,
a new blessing revealed itself
and marked me with it’s brand.
and yet, resist, couldn’t I

as I journeyed , I sought to conceal the ruby red locket.
the magic I feared losing that never was mine.

One night while dreaming in it’s glow
under trees of sticky maple,
I felt it slip and I grasped,
reaching for my salvation.
but I was daft in the vision
and careless in holding

I searched for that peach cottage
with chocolate chip lime.
but I’ll not say if I found it again.
the forest is filled with nosy gardners
with empty dreams

I am though branded forever by it’s blessings
and I glow in it’s magic.
the locket was only the key to greater treasure
and greater hinges.

there is a fire on the hearth
cookies on the rack
shadows in the cracks
New England seas in the winds rush
and I am happy in my place

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Going Home

I've been blessed. I have a fine wife that loves me and two beautiful children. A roof over my head and food on the table. All in all, tomorrow looks pretty good and today ain't half bad. But still, sometimes...

I'd like to go home
to the streets of my youth
to barbeque chicken on Sunday afternoon,
Dad on the couch finding rest
Mom on the stoop not understanding

to brothers that quarreled
and a sister left behind
summers were different then,
the smells, the noise, the pace
puddles in the alley
tomatoes on the vine
laughter in the yards
sleep from play spent

Girls were fresh and pretty
undefiled in thought
or so it seemed
leaves song in gentle rush
as wiffle balls sailed the fence
and pepsis never canned

swimming beaches and fishing stringers
parades and christmas ornaments
still I smell the steaming dressing
made by hands so long ago silenced.
and taste orange popsicles
that stained my shirt

hunting trips and friends that raced.
car windows steamed
down by the riverside
to youth's embrace
and glances to glory
in future's hold

But home has moved
and silly I'd look
splashing in an alley's mud puddle
trees are beyond my climbing
and prom has donned her slippers

Mom finally understands
from somewhere
and Dad now takes to the step

chicken is just chicken
brothers just avoid
and sister is still, just left behind

all the smells now just a memory
aunts and uncles line crimson's wall
and pepsi tastes like the can

the leaves fall from trees
and the laughter belongs to another's summer passing
abandoned beaches, empty stringers
and the popsicle
long since melted

Frankie Valli
no long haunts the riverside chevy
the fence has grown distant
the game now grown scarce
and young girls...well

I'd like to go home
and say howdy do!
a hero's welcome
to my sported purple hearts
handshakes all around
and do you remember when?

the problem is,
I do remember when.
when today would never end
and tomorrow sailed on the wings of great stallions.
when summer vacation was two weeks away
and christmas promised happiness.

I know to count my blessings
and believe me I do.
I know the boundaries of time travel
are locked in fantasies lore
and I know life is a forward journey
through puzzled gates and lost love heartache
with no way back.
and dreaming makes for thin soup

but forgive me this
and judge me not too harshly

I'd like to go home...


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Day I Fell Off The Earth

I've spent a life straddling the edge. It only figures that someday your foot's gonna slip. It's funny though. I never fell off by a lean. I fell off by a push and a pull. I never seen it coming.
the day I fell off the earth,
I was minding my own business.
really I was.
I wasn't looking for the edge
it just found me

I was on a wild ocean
fishing for flatfish
in too small a boat.
we were on fire,
too fully loaded,
and Frank was a madman

but that's not when I fell off the earth

I was on a mountain
rain turned to snow
morning to evening
I was alone and lost
eighty miles from anywhere.
I wandered blindly
as bears kept my trail
I bargained with God

but that's not where I fell off the earth

I drove her car
drunk and asleep
we hit the ditch at ninety, I suppose,
flew above the moon and half of jupiter
and landed in the corn

but that's not where I fell off the earth

I walked a railroad track
and counted cadence
while stepping the ties.
the rail tempted my balance
and on it I climbed
with arms outstretched.
while I felt the touch
I held my steady
and knew the smooth.
a lean here, a pull there
a soft blow to the wobble
and a smile to assurance of gentle guidance

there was no train
the earth was flat and wide
though I kept to the rail
and floated above the glimmered steel

that is where I fell off the earth

Sunday, March 15, 2009

coat from a shitbox train

Treasure is a funny thing, you find it often where you least expect it. Much of the time, others don't notice the value you see in a glance. That's what makes it treasure. If ya find some, hold it with all ya got.

There’s a coat I wear
old and raggedy
a bums toss from a shit box train

I was down at the river, fishing
where rusty trestle
imitates coral flora


Chug chug right on time
I lifted my eyes to the rattle
and prattle of passing nothingness

and then, just like that-
out it came,
a drunken parachute
floating free
as the day tried hard to avoid it’s filth

I felt a nibble,
but never mind
the fish will come and go
stay with the coat

down it flittered and fluttered
as the smoke turned the bend,
running as fast as it could in escape.

and I wondered to the sky
and my own wanna know,
now how much filth
is too much filth for a bum and a sky
and a shit box train

I released a fine catch
and watched the coat
floating and bobbing
in the flotsam of brown
and considered my prowess with the throw

playing the wind
and using it’s curve
a snag and a snare
and it was mine
this bumless coat

it was obvious,
this coat had bloodlines.
once the finest ever made
and on many a wish list.
but care had been frugal
and the treasure lost
in careless abundance

now it was big and boxie
and the threads spoke history
faded green with torn pockets
that no doubt had once held great secrets

funny thing, this coat
this old green tattered coat,
it felt like it had always been mine.
it fit perfectly and my hands fell
where they should,
where secrets had been

we wore each other out
this coat and I
a partnership of rescue
and need, and trust
it would keep me warm
and I would just keep it

one cold day when my hands felt the chill,
they pressed in and fell through to the lining.
there I found the secrets.
bits of weathered paper and a thin photo

they told a story of when and where
and even a who and where who’d been
if I cared to listen

and I did

this old green coat now wears me to the river
and tells me of it’s secrets
as I haunt the shadowed depths
and listen to the prattle of passing nothingness

it holds my hands and keeps them warm
then hugs my neck as if grateful,
not knowing, I’m the lucky one

I wasn’t there
in the beginning
when it traveled in style
and fashioned dining cars

a time when thieves would spy it for ransom
and double takes spoke of glamour and grace
and the knowledge of true riches

I came later
when it jumped from the shitbox train
and flew on waves of freedom
and washed itself in the river

so glad it did
and that I was there
with the wind at my back
and an eye for treasure


Saturday, March 14, 2009

I dreamed a highway

I feel today, that all I have left is my dreams. Though far and distant they are, beautiful they fill my heart. Don't pity me this. I'll take them over earthly goals,fancy houses and a six figure salary. They fill my soul with hope and gladness and colours unimagined. The sky is painted with a brush of the arm and all are called friend. There's no jealousy in my dreams, only love abounding and cups overflowing. Here, the lion truly lays with the lamb. And bunnies aren't shot for sport or run over by loud trucks. Here, also, lovers find quiet, if only for the moment. Everything, after all, is about the moment. Isn't it?

I dreamed a highway
and beauty in passing
where wild flowers bloomed
sweet and pure
perfumed in satin undergarments

a place of blossomed menagerie
a scented lure on nature's canvas
waving as one in spirited worship

hills led to meadows that fell to silent ponds.
those that played here played free.
farmer Brown's fence could not take root
nor the Deacon's chapel pervade
such a holy gathering of peace


all clovers count four and beyond
and trees live forever

rabbits play with the fox's tail
and fish lean to logs, resting their fins
the hawk suckles the sparrow's orphan
and the blue fabric of our covering
stretches our dreams to fit our desires

I dreamed a highway
and you were there
flagging me down in naked beckoning
and careless want wearing quiet repose

the world fell to seaside cliffs
and dungeons and dragons
churning diesel motors in violent quest
saying more more always the more

your hand to mine said love the less
and live the more
leave it all for my pastured door
and fields of turquoise
beyond the violent drone

I dreamed a highway
where the moon kept score
where the owls patrolled
and the night passed on summer wings of easy.

the world's shame and poverty's passion
could not take root nor lean to tangled bent fences
but passed over us on the winds of freedom
along with the many cloaks we wore
and the flames from darted eyes

I dreamed a highway
and you were there

and maybe still are...


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Steel and Lace Curtains

This life is a journey, a passing. And it's a hard go alone. We meet many in the way and must choose if their wave sincere and their intentions well founded. Usually, we offer trust being the naive creatures that we are. Sometimes, it is perhaps ourselves that wax our cars and hide our stains in the glitter. I guess that's where forgiveness comes in. I try to be honest but the puzzle is complex and the road winding. Self preservation is somewhere in the headlights glare.
tracing along
to the highway's blend
of steel, and curtains of lace.
enchanting my way
to the tunnels delight
beyond this life's embrace

pushing the curves
to the wind's gentle pull
and watching it all disappear,
if only my life
were as simple as this
just ignore the tracks in the mirror

the guardrails keep my slumber
while the signs narrate the song
to passing trains and aero planes
to movie stars and bad refrains
to all that pass along

God what falseness and treachery
the headlights hide in glare
we meet upon the highway
hello in such a fine way
ignoring the doubts beware

I know the woman who waits on the hill
tending her flowered garden
have you met her? really you should.
she speaks so well of you
a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
said all she says is true

I know a man who lives down the lane
whose cows give milk and butter
he told me of you and the things that you do
he said stop on by, his butter to try
he's known for his wisdom and never would lie
his eyes such an honest blue

what a road, what a passing
what by ways we choose
we sport up our wheels
and aim for the stars
make our sweet deals
on little sports cars
to drive on roads of steel
and lace curtains

we hide in the glare
of going no where
and brag of what's been
back when and back then
and all seem happy to accept
what told we should see

false names and no address
to protect us from redress
signs that wink
and brights that blink
as careen along the cliffs
we fly and sing

we put on and we go
to places out there
far away places with far away faces
strangers with strange ways
yet familiar to us
and in them we search for ourselves.

of that we not fond
we deny and pass by,
to the next curve and hill and even beyond
but the road catches up
and denial leaves trace
on highways of steel
and curtains of lace

Friday, March 6, 2009

Armchair Adventurer

Well, it's happened. Back to work for me very full time and pretty much gonna have to let this thing drift. (don'tcha like how he talks as if someone's listening?) I'm feeling kinda down for other reasons as well, so I'll leave you with this small piece of my dreams for now. ~Rick

There was a time, far far far away in my youth, when I dreamt of great adventures. Climbing Everest, rounding the Horn on my hand built schooner...well. you get the idea. But time caught up and slipped by. Wifey came along and as one thing always leads to another, so did children. But dream I did. Oh, they were kept on the shelf, but I kept them dusted-just in case. Now the mirror says the game is up; take those dreams and put em in a cardboard box to be stuffed in the attic. But this being America and me being me, I think I might have a back up plan. Whaddya think? By the way, the little pic is cuz I meant to use the big pic but then couldn't figure out how to-hey, how do you get rid of a pic after bringing one on? Oh, well.

I read about the lawn chair,
the clouds, the planes, the views
a guy grown bored
his dreams un moored
it was all
on the ten O'clock news

what to do when forty-two
looks back from the rear view mirror?
Why, get on a chair
open a beer
and just let the jet stream steer

once I dreamt of peaks
and oceans stormy gales
to plant a flag
explore the stars
and hear the wind in sails

but my knees are weak
and my back does creak
as gravity has taken it's hold
it's time to scale back, I think
throw in my cards and fold

but now new hope
it does arise
in birthday balloons that soar
to wave goodbye to kin and friend
ignore my wife's implore

I'll wave to passing jumbo jets
and pee on those below
I wonder just how high to go
to turn that pee to snow?

I better take a blanket
been told it's cold up there.
I wonder if my color tv
would overload the chair?

a six pack? no, a twelve pack
some jerky and pretzel sticks
that should last to Georgia or so
I hope I land by six

well this is it
goodbye to all
just cut the rope and let her fly
feel the wind, drink the beer
sail the clouds and know no fear
to boldly go where few would dare
to risk my life without a care
adventure lies beyond the blue
but wait-too high-too fast, it's true

now I raise me up to sail
up to where the storm clouds hail
if I should crash instead of land
remember me
as an adventurous man


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Love's Soft Passing

Love doesn't always stay close by. Sometimes it can't. Sometimes it just brushes along leaving a little of itself behind. But it doesn't have to be a bitter passing. It can be held for what it was. A moment in time, whether a day or a lifetime. Just as it is. Simply love. It can come in all shapes and sizes and the best kind is the one that doesn't demand anything in return.

When the feather of your touch no longer lights my way
when your glow fades into amber leaving
and the snow of our early season turns grey
know that I won't barb wire the past
and claymore the trail
blowing up beauty in slow passing

so many so capable of hiding so much
so many so capable are so not me
my pimples, my sweat and my tears
my disappointments, my doubts and my fears
I wear them for you to sooth, to assuage and to know
and God help me you do, when no other would dare

I can't shout from the mountain
Hey! look at me!
ain't I grand? ain't I pretty ain't I somethin to see?

cuz I'm not, and I know it and you know it too
but you, one of a million, you bound up my wounds
and straightened my hair through made up truths
you zippered my pants and buttoned my shirt
and instead of away, you turned to my hurts

I'm not a red sports car on highways of flame
I'm not the star player who wins the big game
I'm me! just me! and a pity it is
in a world of tagged beauty
and grab all you can
I'm just overlooked
like pebbles in sand

but you took my hand and said come with me
and you cared not who saw or what they would see
and you patched and you plaited and wiped it away
all the ugly and nothing that didn't have to be
a target for those who direct cruel plays
who love all they are and all of their ways

So when your love fades like the sun in the blue
and your waves reach a shore on a distant stars hue
I'll not be bitter and pull at the scabs
and lament the sweet times, the little we had
for time a poor measure of treasures in pure
and I know the truth and I know the you
you were the all you were the cure

but you never were mine to pocket and locket
just an angel of mercy and love without limit
who found an old penny
left on tracks to be trodden
and the shine that you left
will not be forgotten


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Party at Dave's

I went to David Letterman's last night. It was just a few close friends for drinks and laughter. I've always liked David. Cordial and well dressed, he seems to have aged somewhat gracefully and I've always admired his ties.
It was strange though, high up in the highest up of high rises in New York City. I always had suspected he lived in Connecticut, tucked away in some small bedroom community and played euchre on Thursdays down at the VFW. I imagine though that a man of his stature has many secret hideaways. My wife wasn't there. No surprise as she never has liked David or been able to understand his humor.
Anyway, after too much smoke and high philootin, I moseyed out to the deck for some fresh air. I know what you're thinking; a deck? David Letterman? It should have been a terrace, but this is New York City and after all, only a dream.
It was so tiny as to be ridiculous. Postage stamp tiny. One of those shitty little decks you see on the wrong side of town. Apartment buildings that you swore you'd never live in and then you did. You with your babies on your hip, smoke on your lip and husband in the lot working on the old Pontiac. Oh, wait, that was me. It was cheap twisted two dollar rod iron not screwed in correctly. It shook and wobbled and I trembled.
Well, wouldn't you know it? Out comes David to join me and lights up a smoke. You didn't know he smoked? Well, really only in other people's dreams. So he lights up and seems so cool and so nice and he walks to the edge and looks over. My God, it must have been a thousand feet straight down! Over on adjoining buildings, people were waving and throwing confetti. I guess they were expecting him to show. Now get this, here I am all scrunched down low on this little floppsy deck with my mind swimming to the danger, and David throws down his smoke and says, "Give me a boost, will ya." Just like that!
I looked at him in that perfect green striped tie with confetti falling around his head. "huh?"
"You heard me, give me a boost up!"
He was serious! He wanted to climb over the edge, grab onto the rickety deck above and climb up. With a thousand feet of dirty street below. I told him I wasn't going anywhere near that edge! Told him he was crazy. He looked at me like I was Joaquin Phoenix. He let loose with every cuss word imaginable and told me what a lousy low down coward I was. Then he was gone. On to the rail, over the edge, onto some PVC gutter and up he went.
I woke up in the morning sprawled on a lawn chair, face down. I hoped I hadn't moved much in the night and that I could find my way back inside. There was a fat old guy sitting in a chair next to me. Probably just a hanger on or a neighbor. Dave's the neighborly type. Dave was no where to be found.
I doubt if Dave will ever invite me back or even to Connecticut. Because he was fearless and I was afraid. I should have known it was only a dream. I should have climbed. But God knows what he would have had me do next