dVerse — Poetics — One hundred and six

resized total campsites in this campground 121221

Kenopsia:
the atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people
but is now abandoned and quiet.

One hundred and six.
Campsites, that is;
with a sugar hump of dunes between
them and a freshwater sea.
March first begins claiming dibs
as fingers square-dance to ticking timers
faster than ticket nabbing to see Pearl Jam.
The first weekend in June hear the rumble
as an interstate convoy from myriad stick-built gps dots
converge on one hundred and six spots.

Camping, a term that wiffles and waffles
a spectrum, includes
pup tents to airstreams,
charcoal racks to stainless steel gas grills,
AM transistor radios to dish antennas,
hot dogs to tenderloin,
beer to beer to beer.
Inner tubes
hammocks
inflatables
bikes
coolers
bug spray
bag chairs

Waves all day, campfire smoke all night,
sleep unwanted and scarce as wildlife.
Then they pack up and a new crop arrives.
It’s deja vu summer for dazed rangers.

The end of August appears;
as the last campers look
through rearview mirrors.

Kenopsia settles in as critters return
and leaves begin to consider turning.
Townies smile: tourist season is over.

resized december campers 121221amazing to see tent campers here in December, but here they are.

I wrote this about a campground near here, the same one I walked in on Sunday. I’m sure the campers do much more than what’s listed in the poem, but that’s how I see them.

Linda Lee Lyberg is today’s host of dVerse’ Poetics. Linda says:
I am going to share with you a list of 10 words from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, by John Koenig and a shortened version of their meaning. You are free to choose one or more (or all!) of the words to write a poem. I chose the word kenopsia.

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Ingrid says:

    You really conjured up that campground atmosphere so well, Lisa! I used to camp a lot when I was younger, and sometimes I miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Was I pretty close to the camping experience? I wish I knew more about it. I’d most likely be an airstream camper. Sleeping on hard tent floors or an air mattress just wouldn’t do it for me. Maybe a hammock 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ingrid says:

        You got it just right! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have actually stayed in places like that, but only passing we were usually the odd ones staying one night and sleeping in the smallest tent… but I can see the campers as you describe them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think you captured the essence of camping so well Lisa. We camped a lot when we were MUCH younger. These days, I prefer the comforts of a cozy bed. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Linda 🙂

      Like

  4. Ain says:

    Ha! I can really SEE that all, enjoyed the read very much..great sounds in the poem…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Ain, I had a lot of fun writing it.

      Like

  5. sanaarizvi says:

    I enjoyed this one immensely, Lisa! 😀 Gorgeous work done 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you so much, Sanaa, happy you enjoyed it 🙂

      Like

  6. Lucy says:

    Never went real camping in my life, but this is what I’d imagine it to be to a ‘T’. Though with my experience with RV parks, I can greatly say that the beer to beer to beer is absolutely true, along with cooking up hotdogs on the barbecue for family gatherings (which seemed like it would happen a lot). Very friendly people. There’s a river near one RV park I know of around here and people, I think, fish there and bring their boats. It seems pretty nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I get the sense a good time is had by all in the campgrounds. Fresh grilled fish from the river sounds really tasty.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Glenn A. Buttkus says:

    I have camped away from folks in the wild, and as a family we did the parks and the large pole-tents. I preferred the solo camping, but at night, things go bump and growl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I can imagine solo camping could be. Good term for it. I remember camping three different times, all with groups but just overnight. It wasn’t a pleasant experience! Icy water dripping from the side of the tent if you brushed up against it and the hard dirt in a too-thin sleeping bag.

      Like

  8. Tent campers in December in your area – wow, that’s impressive dedication to camp life! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it is! Christian, I’m still trying to find time to get to your email. It might not happen until tomorrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Grace says:

    I enjoyed the details of the camping site during the peak of tourist season. Nature lovers and nature herself, must relieved now that its over and all is quiet again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Grace, I think you’re right.

      Like

  10. Sadje says:

    You’ve vividly created this camping atmosphere Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje 🙂 It’s nice they’ve left with their “quiet chaos” but at the same time it feels kind of empty 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome. I get your point.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The ending made me chuckle, Lisa 😀

    And I also really liked these lines in particular:

    as fingers square-dance to ticking timers
    faster than ticket nabbing to see Pearl Jam.

    (I like Pearl Jam!)


    David

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad to get a chuckle out of you and am thrilled you’re part of the Jamily 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Paul says:

      Yeah I loved this line too!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. msjadeli says:

        Thanks! Happy you did 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. rogblog666 says:

    this took me back a number of years. it has been a while since i slept under canvas. great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rog, happy it took you back to a fun time, thanks!

      Like

  13. You caught it all in one go! I prefer wild camping, or just renting a cottage, but have visited enough sites to love your description.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you have had camping experience and enjoyed the description, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. memadtwo says:

    This reminds me of the parks here during lockdown. Nature is always happy to see humans leave. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Very visual, Li! It is like I am there at the campsite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Punam. I may have been picking up the “afterflash effect” of the campers as I walked there on Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, it seems so. 🙂 You are welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Gillena Cox says:

    Nive the way food and fingers and everything else came alive as you took us on this poetic camping trip

    Happy you dropped by to read mine

    Much💟love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Gillena, glad you liked it.

      Like

  17. Sunra Rainz says:

    What a lovely rugged poem to read in the morning! I love the opening paragraph, the sugar hump of dunes and a freshwater sea, how it develops and then how it ends with that last line: “Townies smile: tourist season is over.” That made me chuckle 😀

    I must admit when I read critters, I thought that was a reference to the campers and then I realised it was literal, ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for reading, your wonderful comment, and I got a chuckle about the critter campers. They’re pretty tame critters, those campers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. hedgewitch says:

    Camping used to be a huge part of my life. Here they often just call it ‘going to the lake,’ because after the dustbowl, the Army Corps of Engineers built dozens of lakes in Oklahoma, and camping at them became a working man’s weekend holiday. Your list of verbs sums it all up perfectly, the sense of leaving the routine behind, yet bringing its comforts with you, and of course, “beer to beer to beer.” is an integral part of that celebration. Perfect exposition of the list word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Joy, that’s very interesting about the dustbowl and the lakes, what a relief to relax, after working hard all week, in and near the water. Thanks for reading and your comment.

      Like

  19. End of season — like waking from a nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      The traffic to and from is the worst part for me, as the stream never ends. They do spend quite a bit of money here so not all bad. What is also irritating is when out of state/out of country tourists snap photos of the natives if we use any of the trails near the campgrounds. Ignoring the signs and climbing dunes anyway when the sign says “don’t climb the dunes to help prevent erosion” when the stairway is less than 100 feet away is also irritating.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. M says:

    I also think you nailed it. But stick with inflatable mattresses – hammocks are shifty and unreliable ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Good advice to know, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. writingwhatnots says:

    I guess the wildlife are a lot quieter when they’re in residence! Great picture of the tide of holiday makers and all they bring with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Marion 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. sdtp33 says:

    Reminds me of my camping days, Lisa, in particular one site near Manzanita, Oregon, had those dunes between the campsite and the Pacific Ocean. All that detail really creates the scene…JIM

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad it brought back pleasant memories, JIM.

      Like

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