4 Poems: Roadtrip. Camping. Love.

I wrote these four poems in August 2019, during the very first trip my partner Jonathan and I took together. We spent four days camping in different parts of the Olympic Peninsula: the beach at La Push, 5 Mile Island in the Hoh Rain Forest, Sol Duc hotsprings, and Lake Crescent. I loved the diversity of land- (and water-)scapes we got to experience in just a few days, and the romance and adventure of sleeping in a tent, cooking over the fire, dipping in the ice-cold river, seeing the milky way and even bio-luminescence on the beach! Perfectly self-sufficient, just the two of us, our car and our packs.

All photos in this post are by Jonathan H. Lee/ subtledream.com


star bright
stars in the day and in the night.

Above our heads
beneath our feet
some in my heart
some on your cheek.

We found this place
the time and space
were blessed with wonder
love and grace.


Rushing is violence
The path is the way
Peruse maps like candy
Our boat for a day

Glacial till spaceship
filled with a home
swallow a kayak
harbor new love

Who knew dots where high as summits?
Who knew lines led to the sea?
Learning sign language
Don’t forget to see

The view is our show. Best view in town.
Each meal a feast
Campfire ritual
Air fills us like freedom
Nature’s true temple

Thermos my warm friend
Blanket my bed on the fly
Boots my sturdy vehicle
Lucy my light in the dark
Soundtrack our celebration
Riches of chocolate and smoked salmon
Tent the nest you make for us

Gratitude for all the things.

Retreat on a beach
Spa by a lake
Gym in the forest
Massages in bed
We find luxuries for free
Not your average American Dream.


I greet you, mother tree.
How can I speak to you?
Your presence comforting and daunting, foreign and familiar.

I wish to feel you
Lean on you
Know you.

What do you feel?
What do you know of us?
Do you forgive us?

Bark of centuries
Leaves of spring
Just my thin skin against you
Is all I have to offer.

Dear one.
So small
So young
So far from wisdom
Yet I do sense your tender heart.

Connect with me.
Say something to me.
Will you forgive me?

Grandmother trees
Here’s you
And me
Soft skin, rough bark
Imagine we could be
Each other’s care and company.


Stoke your fire
watch it ignite.
Bubble up, simmer, boil and burn.

Let’s cook our life
stir up our habits.
Pour our questions on the world.

Stoke my fire
warm my hands.
Pour that goodness in my bowl.

Nourish these relations.
Improvise the present
as if it were made for you.

Stir and stoke
and pour and sip.
Raise up
roll and flow.
Eat that goodness from my bowl.

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