Monday, February 23, 2015



The sprouting seed of a brand-new breed
Living simple and light and lean;
Living happy and free like wild Cherokee
In cozy little living machines.

A life that is bold-- with ourselves in control
and with clusters of friends in affection
reinventing the tribe--helping revive
our long lost natural connection

Choosing sunlight's glow over ice and snow;
acceptance over sorrow;
adventurous games over riches and fame;
and today over iffy tomorrow.

Here they are---scattered across the desert in their "cozy little living machines".
Each year they heed the call to assemble with their kind outside Quartzsite, Arizona.

Some live super simple lives like my friend Dave who comfortably camps  in his car.
My friend Lou lives in splendid comfort in his self built "vardo" (gypsy style caravan)

Camped to my right is a very familiar rig---the super van renovated by Mr simplicity himself Glenn Morrissette.
And all the way from Atlanta, Ga my old friend CB.  The electronics and engineering in the back of his vehicle would amaze you.  He owns a mighty Airstream trailer but can live comfortably and zip about the country in this vehicle.

The highlight of every morning is the seminar---on a different subject each day.  This one is being led by our host Bob Wells.  Bob is the founder of this RTR (Rubber Tramp Rendezvous). It seemingly doubles in size each year.  About a hundred attended this year.

This is yours truly leading a seminar called tin can discussion. Where anonymous questions deposited in a can are read--then responded to by ---whomever wishes to.

Here the audience is responding by show of hands to the question:  How many know who Henry David Thoreau was.  I daresay most of us have been inspired by his book: Walden Pond to win our freedom with simplicity and frugality. 

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I think I will let one of my poems philosophize for me.

I travel full time with a full set of stuff;
Not less than I need or more than enough;
All safely-stashed within easy reach,
Ready for desert or forest or beach.

I have food, fuel, a good fly swatter,
Stove, fridge and plenty of water,
A potty, skillet, four kinds of soap,
A swiss army knife, a strong tow rope,

A satellite dish, a good TV,
Tools for any contingency,
Cleaning supplies, things for the bed,
Sunglasses, towels, needle and thread,

Flatwear, flashlight, several hats,
Air pump and plugs to fix my flats,
Toiletries, spices, bolts and screws,
One bicycle, five pair of shoes,

Credit cards, books, several bags,
Saws, brushes and cleaning rags,
One inverter, lots of clothes,
A stash of money, a water hose,

A mirror, medicine, compass and maps,
Scissors, twine and two mouse traps,
A shovel, sandpaper, a nice towed car,
A clock, some cards, a VCR,

Stamps and envelopes, parts to spare,
Pans and dishes, an outside chair,
Paper and pens, solar panels,
Summer cottons, winter flannels.

Well, you get my point; this full set of stuff
Is all I need to smooth the rough;
I can cook, eat, wash my hair,
Watch TV or make repair.

I can sleep, bathe, read or dig
With just the stuff in this small rig.
Where tourists gaze and rush away,
This traveler parks and stays the day.

Down back roads by lazy brooks
I take a nap or read my books;
Chase the wind, drift and roam;
Let night overtake me everywhere home;

Live my life in a thousand places;
Share myself with a thousand faces;
Drink-in life till I've had enough;
Thanks to my rig and a full set of stuff. 


jeWels said...

Wonderfully done.

Al Christensen said...

Lest anyone be confused, that happens to be my wide posterior in the photo of Lou's vardo, not the craftsman himself.

Shawna said...

Love the poem.

Jim said...

Great poem. We're hitting the road full-time in Oct . . . now we know what to bring!
Though we plan to tow a small car behind our fifth wheel, I don't think you do? Must've been some creative license for that part, eh?
We look forward to spending the winter months each year in the great SouthWest and coming "home" in the spring to spend our summer months in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Canada . . . can't wait!
JIM & ANNIE -- Stuck for now in Boise, Idaho (aka sail4free)

Jim said...

On another group I'm active with, we've been discussing this string of reporters (even the new VA secretary!) coming clean (against their will of course) about their fake war stories. Inspired by the famous Randy (The Poet) Vining, I tossed a few words together of my own. Please forgive my grade-school vulgarity -- some words just don't have effective synonyms.

It can be a sad thing; life an empty cup,
If it gets tough enough, just make shit up!
If your Momma was fat; your Pappa thin,
Just look around and pick some new kin!

Perhaps only men are compelled like this?
Embarrass ourselves over girls never kissed;
Gutting scary beasts we never first shot;
Boasting of fishy monsters we never caught.

Must we be bad ass over wars never seen?
Ignore truth; presume others never get mean?
God help us when we're famous and act a clown,
What is more fun than knocking fake heroes down?

So here's to the wise, those not quick or so fast;
Surely those facing lens about mid newscast,
If you don't know your facts; you're just warming up,
Caution is your friend: don't just make shit up!

Randy said...

Thanks all and Bravo Jim---loved the poem.
Wish the network would pick it up--it's worthy of national attention.

Laurie Thrasher said...

Thank you. Enjoy your poems and observations. I too have the fortune of being friends with Karylee Harrison.. Wander on!

James McBride said...

Just passing through - love the poem!

Thank you.