vast echoes ricochet through my mind. it is only the constant distraction that prevents them from pealing out through the bass chords i was blessed with. i live afraid. i live nervous. i live guilty. these are not adjectives i use lightly or darkly. i believe the poison dripping through their letters is potent and suffused by their very mention.

where will this self destruction turn? i know and preach the path. i stray. but i walk on in the hope that the souls of my feet will again find confidence. i want no painless road. the first footprints in the deep-dusted snow are not easily won. but because of them others may join.

this is my lot. i just need more snowstorms.

start #1

he only had six breaths left to draw. and now five. i could feel his pulse racing, as the beads of clouded sweat trickled slowly from his grizzled cheek and was lost in his salt and peppered beard.

he had to know i saw him approach. the canyon is too narrow to pass unnoticed, unless you know it like family. he knows i grew up here – this place is as much a part of me as my little sister Grace.

as guilt and rage welled up in me i pushed the blade deeper, farther, closer to the core of his being. or where it once was held; i miscounted by a breath.

this gulley will never be the same. i hate it now. i cannot return.

clean knife, clean gun, good fun

the words from my late father echo in my head and guilt sweeps over me for not attending to my tools. tools. what a word for these things i grew up using to hunt and scavenge prey.