To date, I've written three books pertaining to the experience of walking the Camino de Santiago, a 1000-year-old European Pilgrimage with many points of departure, but which all lead to the northwestern Spanish province of Galicia... to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela under which the bones of St. James the Apostle are believed to be buried. "It's the Journey, not the destination," could not be more true. Combining journal entries, poetry and formal e-mails, these books celebrate the sights, sounds, flavors, (and the physical and mental strain), of crossing mountains, rolling landscapes, and unchanged rural villages, as well as vibrant cities of Art, Architechture and Style. Combining journal entries, poetry and formal e-mails, these books relay the experience in a first-hand way of "what it's like to labor and glide a couple thousand miles across Europe."
Scales of the Dragon collects the poems from Sons of Thunder, Autumn on the Trail to Santiago and Upon This Stoney Holy Year. And although nothing new is literally added, what emerges is a shift in Perception. To 'walk' the trail by way of poetic imagery is an entirely different modality - it is to walk through someone else's In-scape but awaken in one's own skin - and it's not for everyone... but for those with whom it resonates, here is the full spray of poems.
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Scales of the Dragon
By James Timberlake
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 James Timberlake
All right reserved.
Chapter Onepoems from Upon this Stoney Holy Year
solstice light late in the sky,
my favorite indigo
winged in Milky Way immortal flight.
eyes flash east, west, east, up,
one nightmared wren implodes with song,
feathers sifting through amber streetlight beams,
shadow at last kissing quill.
to feast at Casa Portugal
before i leave this summering country,
not returning home until bright-veined autumn leaves
tide my den's gate.
bright-veined leaves and Orion high
on the other side my departure tomorrow
into so much unknown,
the belly ripples with anticipation
walking home wine-stained lips,
locks of garlicky grilled bacalhau wedge
tasty aches between my teeth,
and simply home for a narrowing span of hours ~
two flies in the room.
one i captured in a yogurt cup and
set night free. the other bangs
lightbulb and geranium reflected black window glass.
wings wings wings rumbling,
stale jet plane air will linger in the whiskers
sprawled upon a firm foreign hotel mattress.
toilet down the foreign hotel hall,
i'll be eyeing that shallow bedside sink.
banking west to align with Heathrow runway ways,
quick dawn sun melts
across cabin ceiling storage bins.
stale-eyed airport morning.
Dad would have loved the in-flight GPS monitor screen
tracking altitude, ground speed, exterior temp.,
time and miles left to land,
and the cartoon icon plane's skate
across the sea.
eating sweet flesh cherries
and a hard-boiled egg my Mom packed,
goodbye card i bought for
a dying uncle
the new journal not
two pages broached.
in stillness steals
my bite-print. waiting.
in 3:am daylight
to firm French
last stage to Le Puy ~
nodded a knot in the neck
on this rackety train napping,
unbolted metal cabinet doors hiding
wide-eyed dog fear,
tail curlicues tiny balls beneath his master's seat.
now, St. Étienne Châteaucreux station cables
in crazed suspension bridge spans
hum wind, bead rain.
European ambulance strangely wails.
chef joining Aznavour
refraining 'la Bohème' in the back room ...
salad, lentils, sausage, wine,
five fist-sized purple allium
from a murk water glass vase bloom,
transubstantiate, become tomorrow's alpha
beginning so much of sweat and miles.
seminary courtyard chestnut
trees, the nightlong,
rustle streamly deep corners
of room and soul.
after pilgrim's mass,
Le Puy Bishop's blessing
by the statue of St. James.
he, a few slow kind words
after each spoke their place of origination,
often lost in old Cathedral stone echoes,
but what is breathed kind remains...
candles flicker into stillness
as centuries of wax-wick flame
before the Road to Santiago's
fears and joys and pains express soul sweat flesh.
from much mind wandering and wondering how ...
wind and incense spark now's lips.
these early morning cobblestone steps,
walking stick ticking beside me,
about the hour when today's pilgrims
receive the Bishop's blessing ~
my footsteps on volcanic stone,
knee-high green corn,
backpack straps creak,
walking stick metronome.
behind Rugosa rose cascades
meadows rise with cricket and birdsong
until midday sun silence.
red crêpe petal poppy nods,
waymarker giggles 1,521K
yellow and pink
purple spears among lichened stone,
breakfast cartoon cereal laughs back at me
from the poem's page.
les Monts du Devès range crest,
a field of gold-flame-bloom broom burns wind ...
when white butterfly bursts from purple thistle,
i always thought it was a
clockmaker's dream ...
a flesh, blood, and hollow-boned cuckoo
calls out a crazed 35 o'clock.
another river to ridge climbed,
sweat dries in cricket cedar breeze.
soon these peaks too will turn
hinter distance smokey blue
volcanic pumice to granite ~
stone and cricket change dharma
gargantuan hare i took for a lithe deer jacks ass away.
acrid waft, Gauloise
smoking fat old dude in working
man's blues ... if you gotta toil,
wear the Queen of Heaven's hue.
sun-roasted horse-shit incenses its way
back to a pile of hay.
backbreakingly labored into Saugues' homes
well before my time,
tranquil under shine blue skies ~
the soothing screech of swallow skeins whirling
knit and purl long memories to
rock meadow mind.
swallows sing daylight hamlet walls,
dogs bay night fields,
stuff-sacked gear strewn about
a resting room.
dusty violet forget-me-nots in
blue cornflowers ring around the
yellow blooming broom bush
no idea the name indigo
tangles no idea the name gold
between crystal azur sky and
how nature joys in caressing
the center of light's spectrum
and toppling expectation
with one white crow.
roll with subtle
a ring of fir fringes the meadow's bowl
to drift in,
wild pink rose.
western Auvergne sky,
walking from hilltop bench
to hamlet hollow,
the horizon-wide cloud gyre ...
titan crashes to the sea and dies.
hostel already empty ~
waiting for the pharmacy to open
to bandage raw and bleeding feet ~
swallows spin spontaneous roller coaster courses
around age-melted stone church walls ~
yellow wildflower tuft eking it out
in the saint-strolled eaves...
geraniums glow with within light the overcast allows.
ten minutes rain,
ten minutes repose in
birdsong rises with spectral vapour to the blue,
smelling horse-shit brings me back
a thousand years to now.
white limestone track winds
esses through rolling plateaux,
stunningly one auburn bovine tucked in
pine and yellow broom relief
grinds her cud.
one twilight blue cornflower among
infinite wicks of straight green wheat,
red-white striped fencepost balise beacons on.
Excerpted from Scales of the Dragon by James Timberlake Copyright © 2011 by James Timberlake. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
poems from Upon this Stoney Holy Year....................1
poems from Sons of Thunder....................108
poems from Autumn on the Trail to Santiago....................145
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Ash, your eyes are red... *Tierra said cautioisly* Are you sure? *she felt his forhead* Your ice cold. Whats wrong? ~Tierra Byron looked at Ash, he screeched and could see an evil aura around him and tried to tell Tierra. Fawkes tried to too. He even tried to make phoenix tears. They could heal anything. Glaciersong whimpered and poked Ashes leg.