Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Ghost of Dennis Hopper

Some folks wonder what I think about when I'm riding my bike. I think about lots of things. I think about everything.

How if you could choose your heaven it might look a lot like this road.

How the guy going the other way on that Harley looked just like Dennis Hopper.

How quickly storms come and go in the mountains.

Sometimes all these things whirl around in my head and something pops out. And at the end of the day, I write it all down.

This is what came out on June 8th, 2010. I wrote it in my little yellow notebook while sitting in a Tim Hortons (how Canadian, eh!). I typed it into my Peek in the Dry Gultch Campground. I'll blast it to the blog the next time I get a Peek signal.

I hope you like it. Keep 'em rolling, I know I will.

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
On the road to Banff and beyond.

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The Ghost of Dennis Hopper


I met the ghost of Dennis Hopper
on a small road in B.C.
I said "I think I know you."
He said "that isn't me."

I'd pulled over at an old barn,
the farm failed long ago,
but one roof still was standing,
sometimes that's enough, you know.

The old man on the old bike
watched me pull in from the rain.
"You're smart not to mess with lightning,
I try to do the same."

His bike was a well-worn Harley
half as old as time.
I told him that I liked his wheels,
he said the same of mine.

He asked "Where you headed, man?"
I told him where I was bound.
"Those wheels of yours will get you there,
just keep 'em turning 'round."

I asked his destination,
he said "I'm already there."
I asked him what he meant by that,
he asked me about prayer.

I tried to change the subject,
"Aren't you a movie star?
You were the Easy Rider..."
"I never went that far."

And then he said "You know, man..."
in a voice that made me know
that he was the Dennis Hopper
I'd seen in all those picture shows.

"You know," he said "that God's not dead.
He's weirder than folks say.
They try to put him in a box
and sell tickets to a play."

"The man upstairs, he's got it clear,
it's all clear in his mind,
but you and me we wonder,
we seek, but never find."

"I don't think Heaven's what we're after
and Hell's not what we know to fear.
Heaven isn't where we're going,
Heaven's already here."

And then he laughed that Hopper laugh
and said "I'm messing with ya, man!"
I don't know squat of God or death
or any master plan."

The clouds moved on quite quickly
so we commenced to do the same.
I said "so long, Dennis Hopper."
He said "that's not my name."

I said "I think you're Dennis Hopper."
He said "you'll never know.
Just keep those wheels turning, man.
Try to enjoy the show."

The old man gunned the throttle
and the Harley roared away.
And I was left to wonder,
I wonder every day.

Some souls don't burn in brimstone
or find bliss in heaven's grace.
Some souls are meant to wander,
for heaven's not a place.

And I can't say for certain,
but here's the tale I like.
Dennis Hopper's in his heaven,
on a long road, with a bike.

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