I write sonnets to hold myself together.

Tag: Camp Grounded


Context: Last year at Camp Grounded I met a person named Practice, who shared something like the following.

“Consider this,” he said, “a simple line
can be interpreted so many ways.
I thicken here, you take it as a sign
that object’s in the foreground, ‘fore the haze.
I pinch it here, again sequentially
and pattern you interpret, but it’s just
your mind completing its potential–see
but one unbroken line! The rest is trust.
And so in curves and breaks and strokes we weave
the textures you interpret as set things,
allowing us to alter what’s perceived,
in equal measure for both pawns and kings.
The line, you see, is base that’s oft ignored
when said that pen is mightier than sword.”

Flight at Camp

Context — Reflection from my night of reentry after Camp Grounded.


Amongst the redwoods pecked by birds’ red heads
there echoed syncopated knocks. The birds
in cunning chipped from nature new homesteads
in bark, while we tried do the same in words.
We tethered selves to one another, mesh
of social filaments’ complexity
reached Moorish richness as each one afresh
pursued connections not through tech’s debris.
In food, in play, in pause, in awestruck eye,
in touch, in skill, in cuddle puddle’s slack
we each found ways to knotty selves untie,
then salvaged threads, patched spots where mesh had gap.
It strengthened hard, became an aileron
to steer beyond smalltalk’s automaton.

Camp Grounded: Sunday

Context — The previous day at Camp I’d spent mostly on benches, at playshops where I learned things like how to crochet. We spent some time in reflection, enjoyed a purposeful campfire, and thought about how to make something bigger in our own lives out of the peace we’d each tasted. On Sunday morning I again wrote this over coffee and yoga-watching.


Our asses sore by day of wooden planks,
our bellies puffed with jointly blesséd-meals,
our minds burned fear, reorient to thanks,
our pause is pregnant with new chosen “real”s.
Our amphitheater open to the stars
because we’ve chosen to remove its doors
and welcome souls from heres and nears and fars
in faith all beings share our common cores:
of love, joy, gentleness, awe, pride, delight,
of envy, social status, hierarchy,
of individuation, wrong, and right
of choice to cage or let desire’s lark free.
And in that commonality we bathe–
someday our splashes swell to tidal wave.

Camp Grounded: Saturday

Context – Camp Grounded was one of the finest weekends I’ve ever had. On Friday night I got to listen to live 1920s jazz with a stand-up piano in a yurt decorated as a tea house beneath towering redwoods. On Saturday morning upon waking in my tent to the sounds of birds, my pause button bracelet got caught in a zipper. I wrote this over coffee while watching others do sunrise yoga.

A thrice-triumphant bugle heralds start,
the dawn of first full day we’d share a-ground
accompanied by bird call singsong art
melodically cascading joy around.
The moments flashed upon my inward eye
of tea and rugs and warmth and expert jazz
of marshmallow perfection carbonized,
of deeper meaning flaming cello has.
And in this moment, caught in sleeping bag
was small accessory I wore on wrist,
suggesting I embrace time’s present lag
and pause, as here I needn’t true self miss.
I rise, to be a dry, receiving sponge
of smile and words as we to kinship plunge.

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