Cormac McCarthy and Summer Camp

I have to apologize for not updating this blog as often as I usually do. I’ve started my first week as a camp counselor and internet access is super low on my list of priorities. Today is my day off, so I took the opportunity to write a poem inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road. I’m 200 pages in now and it’s great, depressing and probably not the best book to read while working to make a positive difference in the lives of young campers. It’s a post-apocalyptic narrative following a father and son as they navigate a charred and barren earth. As they travel endless on the road in search of their next meal of canned vegetables, McCarthy examines the insignificance of human life in the universe and how little people require for survival. Here’s a line that really sums up McCarthy’s thinking: “Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your rather are dead in the ground.” But it also turns out that McCarthy agreed with the Beatles because the father and son sustain each other in the barren land. All you need is love.

Tuftonborough, NH

We Need Little

We require so little for life

a quiet stream, a bottle to fill,

a bit of sunshine between clouds,

deer and apple trees.

I would feel comfortable

leaving my survival resting

on a sky of torrential rain

and a few scrawny rabbits

as long as there was someone

there to talk back

to the voices in my head.

Really, reliance on the good earth

or some piece of a knowing god

should suffice.

It helps to forget

about the dark and swirling vacuum void

around everything.

The naseating spin

of meaningless debris

and dust particles

infinitely dividing into chaos

is better left alone.


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