Saturday, March 5, 2011

Going Camping, Thinking Positive

My first impression of the north woods town
Was not one in which beauty was found,
Smoke rose from the pulp mills and rising dust,
Logging trucks bulging with logs, ready to bust,   

Surely that is what all tourists chance to see,
Or were my negative thoughts playing tricks on me,
It was early evening so I decided to stop for fuel,
Don’t get stranded without gas is my first rule,

And in the woods where fewer people were found,
Gas stations were rare, and at night were shut down,
While my pickup was filling I strolled inside,
Bought a coffee and some chips to ease the ride,

On my way out I glanced at a car pulling slowly in,
The driver was scowling, anger showing, no grin,
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” he snarled as he passed me by,
“You got some kind of problem? Should I black your eye?”

I hurried on past without stopping to converse,
I was on vacation, no reason to argue or worse,
Sipping a hot coffee and munching my chips,
Singing loudly to no one and enjoying my trip,

When the pickup sputtered, coughed and died,
I coasted to the edge of the steep mountainside,
I mused over my predicament, it was not to my liking,
I could stay all night there, or I could begin hiking,

Two logging trucks roared by, shaking my truck,
“If I stay here on the edge, I could just be out of luck,”
A car approached in the darkness and came to a stop,
The driver got out, it was the rude man from the shop,

He glared, “Hah,” he said, and on the ground spat,
“Serves you right for staring at people, and that is that,”
I started to protest but he was already on his way,
“I’m not going to let you ruin what’s left of this day,”

I hiked north along the road, hoping to find a town,
But several hours passed slowly with no one around,
A commotion in front of me, something in the road,
A deer, still alive, stunned and scared, towards it I strode,

I talked to it calmly, quietly, urging it to relax,
Amazingly the deer ceased kicking, and listened to facts,
With my heart in my throat, I checked out the deer,
“You’re going to be fine,” I said, “when you’re over your fear,”

I lifted and pulled as the deer struggled to its feet,
It looked at me for a moment, its recovery complete,
It stumbled and then bounded away into the night,
I was alone once more and feeling all right,

Dawn broke silently and quickly, the sun touching the trees,
I thought of the emptiness of my life, in varying degrees,
I caught myself, “I can’t let negative thoughts slip in,
Negative brings negative, lets the erosion begin,

I must think positive, for positive forces I need,
What can I do right now, that would be a good deed?”
I began picking up cans and paper lining the way,
“I’ll do this while I’m thinking of places to stay,”

Several times I heard footsteps in the forest nearby,
Yet when I stopped, only birds and wind caught my eye,
A car slowed, stopped, and seemed waiting for me,
It was the rude man with two others, now there were three,

They were carrying baseball bats and I felt a sudden chill,
I was the target they wanted, they were after a thrill,
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” he growled and for once had a grin,
“There’s no way to escape this group of men,”

Now this is where my story sounds confusing and surreal,
Out of the bushes shapes came hurtling, it didn’t seem real,
The three men were knocked down and thrown aside,
I started running, but there was no place to hide,

I ran, I jogged, I walked, exhausted but continuing on,
Trying to separate fact from fiction, all reason gone,
A pickup pulled alongside me, two men in hard hats,
Offered me a ride into town, and that was that,

A short conversation of which they could make no sense,
About positives being better whenever I’m tense,
I arranged for a tow truck to take me back,
We collected my pickup and I was again on track,

I saw the rude man’s car still waiting where he parked,
I wondered a moment where they had embarked,
There was too much I didn’t understand about this night,
Later on I would wonder how I came out all right.
(to be continued)

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