~ inspired by the countryside around Atapuerca.  In my diary entry I noted that the terrain was rugged with interesting rock formations - a primitive timeless landscape.

I leave the village

the path behind snakes down hill

I walk through a sparse landscape

of thin soil and tumbled rocks


At the edge of an outcrop

a giant rock abuts its bull head

Who are you and what gigantic

event forced your birth?


Spun through a volcanic cauldron

crushed tossed you twisted your cracks

through the earth’s crust

breaks in a molten sea hurled out your head

tumbled it along arterial flows

forming holes dips and curves


Your silence tells of spin and upheaval

compression and confusion -

in the unlit orbs of your eyes

flicker of former fires


A whipping wind stirs the path

eddies of dust circle my feet

behind me the passing of ghosts

rattle pebbles


I enter the forest’s drift of scented clutter

moss and fungi mustiness of fern

on the other side a village

Camino, Early November Morning

~ leaving San Juan de Ortega in the dark of an early November morning I encountered my first frost. Diary note that I entered the dark pine forest out of San Juan - beautiful, silent. I was completely alone.

With gloved hands I clutch my poles

My feet grab the frost-bitten path

night on my shoulders


Frost melts from pleats in the foliage

Roots scrape my ankles, breath fogs


Early birds tumble their songs

A lingering owl startles

the slackness of dissolving night

in a shiver of it’s noise


I reach the clearing.

The first drops of rain – morning.



~ outside significant churches and cathedrals were the beggars huddled in doorways.  Unsettled, I wrote this poem in Santiago.

A coat thrown

over your startled shoulders


frayed on winter’s edge

passed on


Now curling your huddled frame

a comma of foggy breath

squeezing your own.

Camino Afternoon

~ inspired by a moment of rest and contemplation in complete solitude except for the company of a robin and distant horse!

slab of sky flattened

under heavy cloud


in the village below

afternoon slumps

behind closed doors


a robin on a nearby branch emboldened

joins me head thrown back on a song


a ploughed field’s bordering forest

hugs its shadow

on the far hill a horse chomps grass


I piece together fragments of my past

distractions sadness laughter at

some silly joke

pin them to my pilgrim

promise to be still


work my hands into balls of

defiance against discomfort

relax them on the rise of remembered love


sun breaks out on a second field and then a third

the moment rolls on