By land and ice, by sea and air - these untamed citizens of the world. Swirling bands of caribou, flurries of snow geese, kingly rack of bull moose sloughing velvet. A land where the evening never gives way to old, familiar darkness - instead it travels: amber, rose, gold. Freed from the time and place a girl ought lose her sense of self, stretching out, somehow, until she is the country all around (vast and empty). In places we drift, through memories that have a way of fading like the blue-silver of a freshly caught grayling. Evening rush-hour traffic jams, a sea of people heading toward their warm homes. A young boy in school uniform holds tight to his gradmother's hand. Ruffles and chiffon. A will of steel to pledge the small, lame bodies to roadside work for the american dream at home. The peace of soft green and winking windows, autumn spreading like a quilt in mapled leaves and bows of pecan. Fathers and cousins adrift in a ghost forest, casting for bass in the shadows of stumps. Grimms to start the story: once upon a time. 'The world is far too big', cries out the porcelain heroine, who turns with human frailty. Wing-tip tornado, water forming pools where the road runs, low clouds hanging on ribs. Built for bloodletting, but peace seems perpetual (to sum up social progress). Skyscraping flamingos & farm boys in no hurry. Four course meals and air-conditioned trailers. Sand patters on my face and hands, sticks in my teeth - stay in the desert and become a dune or fly a kite and hang your world on a string. Lofty solitude and marbled harmonies: I am driving off to the far corners of the picturesque, to see olive trees and pink almond blossoms. Here, too (I find) many have left their humble beginnings but not cut the ties (as we all go, born from a thing and ever loving or hating it). Tractors spray peach trees, towns pack jam for export - textiles, biscuits, chemicals, steel - I am home wherever I go. This, she tells me (perched on podium) is where everyone wants to be, places of fun and opportunity. And, in the center of it all, incessant noise - who wants to wear earplugs to sleep? Christos asesti!: there is kissing in the candlelight, cap guns pop, fireworks fizzle. The archetype is the captain who parlays a rusty old clunker plus shrewdness plus luck into a fleet - who bestrides, with his sons, the chancy world of back-breaking work and turns the profit of many meals and warm rooms and long hugs by the hearth from his girls who, finally, wear the finest dresses. It wasn't much of a life, but it was a reason to live all the same.