On the Road to Satori – Coos Bay


arago sunset near coos bay oregon by michaelatman

Coos Bay

I was getting tired of hanging around Coos Bay
hitchhiking up and down the Oregon coast getting
rides from rich kids in their vintage sedans
construction crewmen in pick-up trucks
who’d share their last six-pack as long
as you promise to save the empties
for their Oregon five-cent deposit

I was getting tired
of partying at The Sea Drift Tavern
the ex-bikers and their Motorcycle Irenes

it was time to split the fishing burg
the taste of middle-America
the decent people I’d met
worked with

the girl from Sonora
who said “I never met a
Porto Rican before!” then took
me in like a long-lost husband home
to her corn tortillas and green chili salsa

Coos Bay
was starting
to wear on me
it was time to go

I would head South
to the Frisco Bay
the Golden Gate
stop in on the Redwoods along the way
check out the giant trees for the night
start a campfire

I’d stay in Berkley
with the help of one of those Room Exchanges
maybe sleep in the bushes on the campus grounds
walk the Botanical Gardens
meet the local crazies

I might even feed runaway kids
like I was feeding pigeons
their little hands reaching
for my slices of white bread
like babies reaching for the bottle
eyes full of hope and sadness all
mixed in at the same time
homeless and lost

that’s what I’d do…
I’d head down the coast
leave those rain-soaked nights behind
leave the fishing boats and the sea behind me
I needed to go where the air was dry
at least some of the time
I had to get away
from days spent
in eternal twilight


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