Author: Patrick Jennings

I travel, when I can. Write, when inspired. Photograph, where there's beauty. Make films, for a living. Oh, and I play a decent didjiridu.
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Breakers Far Below, Oregon Coast Highway 101, Oregon, United States of America

A Smile Above the Breakers

Hers was an exquisite beauty
Not the kind to command
Covers or runways
That puts a name
Up in lights or lead a headline

Her beauty commanded a second look
The kind you missed on a first take
And yes, it was there on the surface
But more, it ran deep

In her bearing
In the way she made others
The center of her world

Her smile flowed
From every feature of her being

To receive one was to be blessed

The first time
She gave me that gift

It was through a tangle of locks
Tossed about in the wind
The sound of breakers far below

My heart knew only one person
In the entirety of existence
And it took years to convince it
That there were other smiles in the universe

Some time after I’d grown beyond the desire to possess her
Our group of friends retraced that old road trip
And on this same point, through tousled locks
She gave me again that heart-stirring smile
But this time said

“I think I am falling in love with you.”

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An Unknown Shore, Gold Beach, Oregon, United States of America

An Unknown Shore

I’ve washed up
On an unknown shore
Clear of the wreckage
From which I’d drifted
Alone on an empty sea

Bruised
Scarred
Burnt

But OK

I spit sand and salt
From my parched mouth

 
Thirst

Then

Hunger

 
But first
Reconnoiter 

So up now
Onto the roiling sea of dunes
With their smaller wavelets
Of grasses in the wind

From the tallest
Scan up and down the shore
Only waves of ocean and grass
And the tidal strip of sand between

 
No people
Or signs of habitation
Or even a trickle of water
Splitting the dunes
To join its salty objective

Inland
A barren of pines
Obscures whatever topography
Or structures
May be beyond

At the forward fringe
Where dunes meet forest

Thin
Scraggy
Scattered

Windswept trees become soon enough
A thickly boughed and wooded

Darkness

I sit for a while
In the rustle of wind and sun
Watch the gulls soar
As their caws echo
The chatter of thoughts
Playing out silently in my mind

Ideas without a tide
Or a beach to wash up on
Soaring on an unseen wind

I am adrift in a familiar peace
The pleasures of moments lived fully
On sun and sand excursions
Whether accompanied or
As preference sometimes won out
An adventure of solitude

Before long
The harsh admonishments
Of sun and wind take their toll
And while chewing my lip
In meandering thought
A chapped bit of it tears away
Leaving the taste of iron
The sting of revealed dermis

The elements have reduced my options
To an accommodation with mortality 

Move or die
Shade or die

I strike out
Into the pines
With a good deal more hope
Than the conditions call for
Confident 
That an unknown darkness
Has more to offer
Than the expanse of nothingness
I now know
Baking already
Under the intensity
Of a morning sun

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Golden Gate Bridge, Baker Beach, San Francisco, California, United States of America

On Bridges

There is a bridge I know
It can take you from somewhere
To somewhere else
And back again
If you care to
As I suppose
All bridges do

But I am neither here
Nor there
About the here
Or there

I prefer to be centre-span
Leaning over the rail
While worlds at odds
Pass below and behind
Their conflict bridged

There I stand
The quiet observer
To tally the to and fro
Of lives and matter
On the move
Matters of both
Consequence
And no matter

And whichever mark I tally
Important or insignificant
Or just some passing fancy
It is all just so damn

Beautiful

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Under a Pale Sky and a Hot Sun, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA

Being Still

I remind myself

There is always a bridge
To some place better
Than I am now

Sometimes all it takes
To cross the bridge
Is to open my eyes and recognize

I already have

I remind myself

There is always a light
To help me see
Who I want to be

Sometimes all it takes
To see who I will become
Is to open my heart and realize

I already am

The Way is not a practice of movement

The Way becomes easier
When I discover the value
In being still

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Nature's Architect, Fortress on a Hillside, Portland, Victoria, Australia

fortress ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #274

towers and citadels
ramparts and parapets
fortress on the hillside
set afire in the morning sun

battles fought
war rages on
death visits here
still more to come

one strong heart
with will of stone
resolve of iron
but moments late

her final breath
his broken cry
their eyes now glazed 
with death and grief

reign of tears
a rain of years
for one still form
her light now passing

towers and citadels
ramparts and parapets
fortress on the hillside
with darkness do the losses come

time withers
all good hope
but for love’s
illuminance 

five hundred years
lives pass along
’til one strong heart
revived by dreams

a love once lost
was born anew
he holds the hand
of one once dead

knows the heart
which then fell still
now beats again
in true love’s breast

time’s never still
nor linear
where once was love
love’s never lost

towers and citadels
ramparts and parapets
fortress on the hillside
rememb’ring love can’t be undone