Friday, March 19, 2010

Following the Telegraph Road . . .

.
And I suppose
After sitting in the armchair
In the marsh (see post below)
For long enough
However long that may be
At some point
It would be time
To get back to town
To the noise
The bustle
The bars the booze
Back to town or bust
Back to the struggle
Put the shell back on
The bullet proof vest
Around the heart
At some point
It would be time
To climb back into
The old Chevrolet
And follow
The telegraph wires
All the way
Out of the marsh
And back to civilization . . .
.
.





































.
Following whatever signs
Might be found along the way
Hoping for some sort of directions . . .
.






















And keep going and going
For as far as I possibly can
Until one day
Inevitably
One arrives
At a place
Which looks
Something like this . . .
.




































.
.
The end of the road . . .
.





















.
There is a song which could accompany all this . . .
.
.



.
.

40 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

Oh my goodness, the pile of cars. Discarded and not longer of use.
I would prefer to stay in the old battered chair!

James said...

It looks like you're on the road to destruction. I'm left wondering if you took the armchair with you or if you left it for the next person. :)

Owen said...

Hi Techno B... but it gets chilly out in that chair at night in the marsh ! Maybe there is some middle road possible for a while between the chair and the end of the road ? Let's hope so...
:-)

=======

Hi James ! In the vast majority of cases I leave things exactly as I found them... taking only photographs with me... although, now that I think of it, at the abandoned shack where this chair was, I did carry away a door that had fallen off its hinges, and which had about four coats of different colored paints on it, all peeling beautifully... an old friend of mine may still have that door somewhere in Pennsylvania... it came from down at the Jersey shore... Otherwise, am going to try to avoid destruction for a while longer yet...
:-)

Phil said...

hello
ces photos en noir et blanc sont vraiment chouette ! je ne me lasse pas !

merci de ton com
non je ne suis plus là bas depuis 1 semaine tout juste
dommage car c'est si beau que j'y serais bien resté encore quelques jours

pas eu le temps d'apprécier à leur juste valeur tous ces beaux paysages

je reviendrai..:)

bonne journée
Phil

Karine A. said...

comme film, pour accompagner, je suggère : " Bagdad café"
bel article, j'aime les photos et le poème.

@eloh said...

That's the best "end of the road" I've ever seen....

Where were these taken? France? The marsh pictures that is.

Jessie said...

You made me smile with the last picture! I hope it's not really a metaphor ;o) Great photos, as ever!

Deborah said...

Great pictures, Owen. I love how you weave your pictures and story together - very creative!

Steve said...

A mass grave for disgarded autos. They need some sort of cenotaph surely?

magnoliaamber said...

You make me want to daydream, Owen. There is something nostalgic I don't know why, like throwing away the old family car. It's sad.

Nevine said...

Ha! Reminds of of "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac. We all have that itch to move on, don't we? We need to chill and all, but then we get that nudge and we have to hit the road or bust! Love your last photo, Owen! I'm curious, where did you take that? And did you make a special trip to photograph this, or were you just driving by and see it, and stop to capture the scene?

Nevine

louciao said...

Another drive-by shooting. Good thing you put that bullet-proof vest around your heart back on.

I used to feel exactly like this, how you describe going back to "civilization," the few seasons I rented a cottage outside of Montreal in the (then) bucolic Eastern Townships. The few times I took the train back into the city I felt like I had to gird myself for battle. It took me a couple of hours to get my armour back on, my pace up to city speediness rather than country amble, my eyes straight ahead rather than gazing about and lingering. But once I was back in gear, I was happy to partake of the big city buzz again. It's a question of balance, n'est-ce pas?

As the Stones put it, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you get what you need."

Stickup Artist said...

I read some of your comments and noticed you referenced the Jersey Shore. I know New Jersey takes a horrible beating, but the Jersey Shore is probably my favorite place in the U.S. From quaint Cape May to rowdy Wildwood. I love it all. I spent A LOT of time there.

The stacked cars make me think of the strata of rocks, the layers of time we see in so many rock formations out west. These seem the man-made version of that and are very compelling thought provoking shots.

Peter said...

Fantastic text to go with these amazing photos - quite typical for you! (A real compliment of course!)

Dire Straits ... 1984! ... and I never went to see them! Maybe I should try the Mark Knopfler concert at Bercy in June!

Alberto Oliver said...

Back to civilization?? No way, for whatever that means, in this case, piles and piles of junk and that frenzy attitude of use and throw away, and get a new one, and the fields filled of all that waste. Heck, for a moment i thought i was on the road, on the 60´s, with a dream, a quite Utopic one, of keep on going, looking after freedom, for whatever that means. .

.:: Karine ::. said...

bonjour owen adoré

par ce samedi matin non ensoleillé je passe te dire bonjour et te faire un gros bisou :-)

je ne suis pas très active en ce moment sur les blogs (le mien, les autres), prise par d'autres projets !

mais quel plaisir de te retrouver ainsi que ces photos en noir et blanc et ces vielles voitures que tu affectionnes tant :-)
et que dire de "dire straits" qui me ramène quelques années en arrière quand je vivais à londres et que j'écoutais en boucle dans la boutique de daniel hechter :-)

merci pour tes mots toujours souriants chez moi, merci pour ta belle humeur !

passe une belle et douce journée owen adoré

Laurie said...

Holy Moses, Owen! What are you on?

The Sagittarian said...

Fab photos, I love old wrecked cars and to see them all piled up like that...wow.

I'm going on a three hour drive (well, 6 if you count the return trip) today and am going to have my trusty camera with me...will see what I can find for you. Hint - I already have found a new home big enough for all of us!!

Catherine said...

Those compacted cars make for some wonderful shots - I am currently cycling around Mexico City (mad I know) courtesy of the new Ecobici system which is great - so I am quite pleased to see so may cars in their graveyards!! Greetings from Mexico

Rénica said...

très jolie série n&b j'aime beaucoup !

Virginia said...

Owen, you never fail to amaze me with your photos and your text. You are talented my friend!!!
V

jeff said...

J'adore cette musique de Dire straits ! Je les avais vus en concert à Nîmes il y a... quelques années...! Superbe !
Mais c'est vraiment la fin de la route pour toutes ces voitures ?...;)
ça resemble à ces compressions de César ou... plutôt l'inverse !
Et toi Owen ?... Comment se passe ce début de printemps ?... La Réunion ne te manque pas trop ?... Comme j'aimerais partir vers des pays chauds... le Maroc pour ne pas le nommer ! ! !
Et toi Owen ! Quelles destinations te font rêver ?... mise à part la fin de la route....(8]

Excellent week-end mon "ami" de longue date...
A bientôt...;)

Owen said...

Hello everyone, bonjour à tous...
Sorry for taking so dreadfully long to get back here, my job is devouring me these days, it seems the economy is coming back a little, and that translates as work just got very crazy again, and as work is the only thing between me and starvation, I must stay afloat at work, even when that means long days, short nights, and little time for blogging... but the blog is my refuge, and I will not let it drift away... so please be patient with me....

Owen said...

Bonjour Phil, merci bcp ! Je comprends plus que bien que l'on peut avoir fortement envie de rester dans le sud ouest américain, des endroit comme Bryce sont tellement vastes et sublimes, on pourrait y passer des années et ne pas voir tout ce qu'il y a à décrouvrir... même une vie entière ne serait pas assez je craigns... Je suis retourné la bas au printemps 2008 il y tout juste deux ans, pour dix jours seulement, on est descendu dans le Grand Canyon, coté Havasupai, puis on est monté passé qqs jours dans Zion, endroit magnifique que j'adore aussi... bref, ce sont des paysages qui appellent fort à revenir, une fois que l'on a gouté un peu de leurs plaisirs. As-tu lu des livres d'Edward Abbey ? Mieux que personne (à mon humble avis) il a écrit de ce sud ouest US...
Merci encore...

=======

Hi Karine A.,
J'adore Baghdad Café ! C'est marrant que tu pensais à ça... Et au fait, j'ai trouvé un vrai Baghdad café il n'y pas si longtemps, au beau milieu du désert Syrien, à mi-chemin entre Palmyre et Dams, à un carrefour où il y a une route qui part vers l'Iraq, il y a un Baghdad Café... faudrait que j'affiche des photos pour te montrer... il y avait même un chameau garé devant ! Merci de ta visite !

louciao said...

No worries, BrOwen, we'll fluff up your blog pillows, watch your video show, and turn the music clips up loud in your absence. We'd all just hate it if you couldn't pay for your internet connection, never mind about you starving to death!

Owen said...

Hi @eloh... glad you like the "end of the road"... can you imagine the billions of dollars of economic effort that end up piled up in such places around the world... talk about proof of our "throw-away" society...

These pictures were taken back around 1988 in South Philadelphia, near the Penrose Avenue bridge over the Schuykill River, where I believe still today there is a metal recycling center... These were the input piles at the mouth of an enormous shredder, the output were compacted bales of shredded steel...

======

Hey Jessie... well, I guess everthing is a metaphor, depending on one's frame of mind at the time of observation... am happy to be the source of smiles... that is the whole thing... smiles...
:-)
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Deborah... I guess I'm a weaver at heart... and a lucky weaver to have such faithful visits from your good self... from your very perceptive self... so are you back in France now or still in Canada ?

=======

Steve, you are surely right, and in fact I think I saw the appropriate cenotaph once, here in France at a place called the Cartier Foundation, an outside art gallery, where there was a tall square tower of concrete with the carcasses of old cars embedded in it... somewhere I have some photos of it, will have to find them... and in Beirut, Lebanon, there is a similar concrete tower, but with old tanks embedded in it, with their mute canons pointing in all directions... that one was harder to photograph because it was on military grounds, and we weren't allowed to stop the car there... That's a nice word, cenotaph, I admit I had to look it up, to refresh my memory (my failing memory):-)

Owen said...

Dear Magnolia, too true, too true, such places really send me into a reverie, a sort of wonder at the colossal waste of our society... when you look at a country like Cuba where cars from the 1950's are still running in quite some numbers, because people repair them... and then you see these giant piles of trashed cars of much more recent vintage... there's something wrong with that picture... sigh...

============

Hi Nevine...

Ah, On The Road... indeed, this blog is my homage to Kerouac, it is my road story. I'll have to re-read On The Road, it's been too long. I once read a biography of Kerouac called Desolate Angel...

Umm, as for the photos, actually, the site is a car re-cycling plant in South Philadelphia close to a bridge over the Schuykill River. During my childhood years, we would go over that bridge every few weekends, because at that time it was the only bridge across that end of the Schuykill, near where it flows into the Delaware River, and we had to take it to get over to the Walt Whitman Bridge across the Delaware, in order to drive down to near Atlatic City, NJ, to visit my grandparents... which we did often. So for years and years we drove by that place, and every time I would marvel at the scrap in there. Later a new bridge was built for I-95, and suddenly the old Penrose Ave bridge had alot less traffic. In my later teenage years I worked at Veterans Stadium in South Philadelphia, which also took me back to that neighborhood frequently. But it wasn't until much later, when I was nearly 30 that I made a specific trip one day to go shoot some photos in South Philly, that I caught these. It's a shame they're a little over exposed, but they still send a message I guess...

Roxana said...

this black and white series (counting the Afternoon as well) is overwhelming... i feel the breath of time on my skin, in my bones...

and the perspective in the first two images is stunning, chapeau bas!!!
:-)

Owen said...

************************
Blog Bulletin **********
************************
Just stepped out to see a movie with some friends... The Ghost Writer, from Polanski. Not bad as thrillers go, but a few too many scenes are stretched too far beyond the point of credibility for my taste. OK, so things are rotten to the core around the US and British governments and certain spy agencies... I think we already knew that.

***********************

Owen said...

Ah Lynne, you are too much !

Drive by shootings ! That's the story of my life... And the harsh marsh... you certainly have a way with words.

The way we mutate when changing scenery from rural or wilderness to urban settings, back and forth between them, is a subject perhaps not given enough attention, although no doubt, were one to dig a bit, someone has surely already written some fascinating insight into the matter... I mean, what hasn't been written about by now ? Is there any new ground to cover ? When one sees libraries full of millions of books, the number of unexplored subjects must be like the rhinoceros, on the verge of going extinct... Anyway, hopefully we'll continue to be able to get what we need, if not what we want... always loved that line...

==============

Hey Stickup !
So you know the Jersey shore too ! You sure get around ! I know that's not a good thing sometimes to say to a girl, but in a good sense, I mean. My grandparents lived near Absecon, on the mainland side of Atlantic City, with a big stretch of pine woods and marshland around their place, so we used to drive from near Philadelphia down there every three or four weeks to spend a day or two. I love that part of the world, the islands along the shore, the marshlands, the pine barrens, the sandy ground (from the eroded Appalachians ?), and all those seaside towns, Avalon, Wildwood, Brigantine, etc, etc... but you know all that...

Your bird (heron ? crane ? egret ? photo is just incredible... I hope lots of folks will stop by your blog to see it... !

Owen said...

Peter... many thanks... If you have a chance to see Mark Knopfler in concert, I would strongly recommend you go... I've seen him twice, both times it was heaven, he has a way with that guitar of his, just leaves me speechless...

==========

Hi Alberto, we must keep following the road, following our dreams then I guess, and not worry about the end of the road or what it might look like... The 60's... seems like centuries ago...

Titane333 said...

Trop trop beau Owen, un très beau texte, et les photos, .... impressionnantes. J'aime beaucoup ton regard 'N&B'. Bravo!

Owen said...

Chère .::Karine::.,
Suis bien content de ton passage, je m'en doutais bien que tu es un peu occupée ces jours-ci, mais ta présence est un rayon de soleil, qui fait toujours plaisir, et qui rechauffe, donc, ne reste pas cachée trop longtemps, si non nous allons tous attrapper frois ici dans le blogosphere.... ah, et des bon souvenirs donc de Dire Straits... ça vaut la peine de les reveiller de temps en temps, ces bon vieilles chansons d'antan...
:-)
Bises bises et bises !

===============

Hey Laurie ! Good to see you here ! What am I on ??? Oh, just the usual... but I can't reveal my secret formula, it wouldn't be good if there were alot of people running around in the state I'm in...
;-)

Owen said...

Oh Sister Saj, I can't wait to see the new dream house you've found for us... and I'm sure mad Lynne is going to be thrilled... think of the parties we're going to throw ! Take care and drive carefully, will be by to see what you've been up to soon...

==========

Hola Catherine, good to hear you're having fun out biking around Mexico City... sounds like what they did in Paris with the Vel'lib system, short for Velo Libre. I often think it would be a good thing if cars would disappear... we have created a bit of a monster with them. We could go back to bicycles and horses and ships with sails, instead of burning oil, endlessly burning oil. Well, perhaps not endlessly, one day the wells will run dry...

Owen said...

Bonjour Renica, un grand merci...


=============

Hi Virginia, you are too kind by far... so, when's your next trip to Paris ? Or, perhaps, how long can one live for without a trip to Paris ?

Owen said...

Salut Jeff !
Alors, que veut dire ce "quelques années" ??? Discretion sur l'age de l'intéressé ? Alors, tu les as vu à Nimes ??? Wouuuah... est-ce que par hasard tu les aurais vu dans les Arènes de Nimes ? Si oui, quel splendide endroit pour voir un concert, n'est-ce pas ? C'est fabuleux comme trace romaine dans le sud... mais avec Dire Straits comme décor, ça a dû être grandiose... Quel chance !

Et oui, c'était la fin de la route, en fait, je pense ce qui s'est passé c'est qu'il y avait un pont, et le pont s'est cassé, un tremblement de terre, et les motoristes ne voyaient pas que le pont s'est cassé en deux, du coup, ils se sont continués à foncer dessus, et tomber dans le vide, par centaines, par milliers, et toutes les bagnoles se sont entassées là, et oui, l'histoire de notre société de consommation, "conspicuous consumption", on se jete dans le vide en masse comme cet animal mythique des pays nordiques, le lemming...

Alors, et oui, la Réunion me manque déjà, j'aurais pu passer bcp plus de temps je pense à arpenter ces pentes, ces forêts, ces cirques, ces chemins perdus au délà des champs de canne à sucre... mais bon, un jour on aura d'autres voyages j'espère, et pour toi aussi, au Maroc, dans l'Atlas, au chaud... avec un appareil photo...

Mais il y a pleins d'endroits que je reve de visiter encore. Juste ici en France je suis loin d'avoir tout vu, ce pays est vaste et riche... et autour en Europe, plein de pays m'attire, l'Ecosse, l'Irlande, la Scandinavie, la Russie, la Roumanie, la Bulgarie, et encore... pourquoi pas Cuba, par exemple ? Ou des coins perdu des US que je n'ai pas encore vus, bien que j'aie traversé plusieurs fois d'est en ouest, d'ouest en est ce pays là... sigh, un jour, mais d'abord, il faut bosser dur pour payer tout cela, hein ???

Voilà, mais la vie est belle, quand même, surtout quand on a des compagnons de route de si bonne compagnie... bonne semaine amigo...

Owen said...

Ah Louciao, there you are, I was wondering why my pillow was so perfectly fluffed up there... well, just don't forget to call the Saj and remind her to bring a few cases of that good white wine she has down there in NZ... meanwhile I'll go earn some bread to pay the bills ! You're right, that would NEVER do if they cut off my phone service and with it the high speed internet line... that would (to use a coarse expression) literally suck... And speaking of which, remember, there is no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks...

Owen said...

Dear Roxana... you slipped in there while I was out at the movies... And if these images managed to touch you with a little breath of time on your skin, even to the bones, then that is quite a miracle for me, and an honor, and a pleasure, and I shall continue to try to touch you in some small way, for yours are the eyes of an artist born, and I hold your eyes and the vision behind them in high esteem... and never cease to be amazed by the power of the internet and the blogosphere, to allow such connections, however ephemeral, however profound, to exist at all...

Owen said...

Hi Christiane Titane, merci beaucoup ! Je suis bien content si cela t'a plu. Et au fait, est-ce que tu as reçu mon message concernant la taille des images sur une page de blog ? As-tu pu trouver l'article j'ai fait à ce propos il y a un an ?

Merci encore pour ta visite...
:-)