All scents to come clean

In a blanket of frozen

And be sought unseen



Poetry by A. Cusato
Photography by J. Curtis
All Rights Reserved

Defying Gravity

That’s how they get ya, MmHm

The sinners

The judgers

The politicians

The nosey neighbors with their complaints


That’s how they get ya, that’s right

The grubbers

The sportsers

The beans

The musicians who sing of hate


That’s how they get ya, you know

The relatives

The religious

The rebellious

The gravity that pulls us so


That’s how they get ya, people

The hoarders

The drunks

The writers

The enablers who make it grow


That’s how they get ya

Filled with guilt

Beguiled by lies

Defying plight

With gravity, watch it fall



Straight Off of Compton Peak

I am an avid hiker, finding myself on a trail three or more times a week. Until this year, I never thought to track my mileage. To keep myself focused on that goal, I joined in the #52hikechallnge. I’m counting my bigger weekend hikes toward this goal.

This weekend I hiked with a friend to Compton Peak on the AT in the Shenandoah National Park. We went a little beyond the overlook, and, because we have both lost our minds, we set up camp. Somehow we decided we both wanted to try winter camping. Daytime temps in town were forecast for the 40s. Nighttime was to be in the low 30s. We thought those were good temps to get us started. What happens in town is not always what is happening on the Drive. It got very cold and windy that night. It was likely in the teens. I did a lot of hiking back and forth to keep warm, which turned my 3rd hike of 52 from a short 1.5 mile hike into a 5 mile hike. I also did a lot of reflecting. It’s so easy to get lost in thought when social media, television and the distractions of the day to day, aren’t available.

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So I thought and thought, and admired the sunset, and experienced the ground freeze beneath my feet, and we conversed about life, and I thought some more. I felt my body change as the temperature dropped. I went numb, readjusted clothing and position, felt the blood flow return, and got lost in thought again. We poured water into a pot to boil so we could make dinner, and ice crystals instantly formed. It was cold, and it was exciting, and I felt a little bad ass.


Sleeping was a challenge. There was a tarp below the tent as one barrier, a sleeping pad, and down mummy bag. I climbed into my bag with all of my clothes, socks, coat, gloves and hat. I stayed pretty warm, except for my feet. Oh my god my feet! The tent was vented at the head and foot, and a major draft was coming in at the foot. I didn’t develop frostbite, but the chill made it difficult to get a decent amount of sleep. I awoke off and on throughout the night. The dog offered us some extra warmth, but the poor thing was shivering too. We emerged an hour after sunrise to discover that it hadn’t warmed up all that much. But within an hour the sleeping bags were packed up, we were drinking coffee, and I was feeling toasty.

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We got word from my folks that snow was heading our way, finished packing and headed back down the trail. The snow began as we reached the overlook where this photo was taken. After the featured photo above, I laid down on that rock and, feeling downright warm in my skin, watched the snowfall with an overwhelming feeling of happiness. This park has become my playground, my escape, and my studio for meditation.


Feckless Desire

The peculiarity of your existence

Lies in my persistence

To calm your need with varied touch

And caress the quest, this is a must


There is a balance I struggle to find

Of singularity, one sublime

I have awakened to inner peace

Of mind, of body, of soaking sheets


Could it be forward, to the way it was

Before the meeting, the coffee buzz

Before the heat, before the flight

Before the confusion that made us fight


When did it twist and take my tongue

Replace my presence with a mug

To be so lost to grasp for nothing

And cling to it with hopes for something


This life, this life, it spreads like mold

It rings my neck and leaves me cold

It hides the nourishment I require

And teases me with feckless desire


Poetry and Photography by Allison Cusato
All Rights Reserved


A repost for the Daily Prompt: Peculiar


To be Rescued

Rescue me from my sins

Remove this cancer from within

Who holds the truths to lead the way

To take his hands upon me lay

To feel his hands within I pray

Rescue me from the sins

Remove this hell from deep within

What twisted stories, who makes them true

Those woven pasts in dreams of blue

That sink beneath the faded hue

Rescue me from my skin

Save me from my own within

Drown out the buzzing

Feed us our worth

Un-soil the feet that trek this earth

Answer me, request my skin

Reward my journey through within


Poetry and Photography by Allison Cusato
All Rights Reserved