Alright in the World

Alright in the World

A Poem by Brandon Umbarger

some time has passed since you left.

over the mountains into the valley below.

out there past the evergreens,

where the days are grey and night is damp.

the silent soliloquy of movement

to a new place, to a new season.

the lens has always been your mantra,

and the cigarette your muse.

i relive the days of the summer,

when it was one thing after another,

and my sickness on the rapture.

you just sat there taking pictures.

and then you would ask me 

for one more smoke.

some time has passed, indeed.

howling down the highway,

scenery of the central valley,

arriving at the after-party

to your drunk cousin shouting.

the beach at Bolinas, dangerous,

but comforting in the orange streetlight,

photographing the ocean and the city.

partaking in Muir Woods, just to try it,

and how i lectured the people there,

it feels like the breath of yesterday,

but it is just a breath.

my mind will distort these memories

over time, and re-create them,

separate entities altogether.

and yes, it is all because 

some time has passed.

and the late summer, the fires

and the thunderstorms.

how we sat on the second story deck

and talked about each bolt of lightning.

and the swarm of bugs on the mountain,

who would not let us rest for cigarettes.

the rolled tobacco, toasted and heavy,

providing the way to continue

up the mountain, to the lakes.

and how beautiful they were!

such lakes i had never seen,

spectacular and still partially frozen.

they glistened in the afternoon,

so still, until your hand disturbed them,

they cooled our reward,

brown ale from the tent door,

the sun falling behind South Sister.

all that time has passed.

and now, what i would give 

to have you ask for a cigarette.

i would not gingerly relinquish it.

i would give to you freely,

the same rule you apply to the bums.

"Cadillac," he said, and we left for coffee.

and now i smoke alone.

no carcinogens burn the lungs

of the acquaintances i see.

i know you had to move on, friend,

the restlessness is in your bones.

and i'll come around someday,

before too much time has passed.

the restlessness is in me too,

and soon i will be across the world,

chasing new beauties of landscape

and people to put down in ink.

but i will not forget to reminisce

about these times, for they define

the season where i began to feel

alright in the world. thanks to you,

friend.

 

© 2011 Brandon Umbarger


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Added on November 28, 2011
Last Updated on November 28, 2011
Tags: post-beat, friendship