Lark Camp Poems
by Mickey Chalfin

joke night at lark camp

scattered conversations
low yield fire
irish tunes wafting
a clan gathers
one liners
sex, sick, pub, genies,
jewish, polish, irish, german,
puns, light bulbs, blonds, rednecks,
talking dogs, sheep over fences,
three legged cows, bullfrogs, hamsters
all for a laugh
once a year
to carry them out
into the serious world


lark camp 2007

was this the first one
hard to tell
they all blend
live up to any hope
turn us into whirling dervishes
keep us up all night
sensations to last a year
sign us up for the next one


Lark 2006 is over music haiku

redwoods never die
they just lean along with us
propped up by music

lining the pathways
from turkey to mexico
nothing but music

marshmallows on sticks
smoke swirling and entering 
every bagpipe

mosquitoes laughing
we pack up each dusty harp
scratch out a living

seven hundred musicians
planning for next year

mick 8-7-2006

Lark Haiku 2005

up and down steep hills
huffing, puffing, and plucking
fiddles or bagpipes

total immersion
it's not about the music
floating together

marshmallows on fire
expensive guitar sweetened
everybody wins

no need for dinner
late afternoon percussion
good single malt scotch

darkness falls from trees
seductive belly dancers
hiding what matters

Mick 8-8-2005

Lark 2005

fire tranced folk
exchanging glances and stories
a weave and warp
of irish fiddle tunes
balkan and belly dancers
twisting stepping gliding
conjoined by the canopy
of towering ancient redwoods
here we are, now for the taking
and giving
for the magic juice
of musical love

Mick 8-7-2005

Mostly Lark Haiku

fire pit is cold
lark moments begin to fade
into new countdown

photographs abound
lark music really happened
once upon a time

turkish coffee booth
fractured and stacked into truck
lark and cardamom

so many choices
juggling seven women
last night talent show

soft sounds all week long
breaking camp to a bull horn
lark into traffic

cranking them out now
musical notes flying fast
redwood cones and larks

nothing can be lost
we shall travel like the lark
finding perfection

Mick 8-15-2005

Lark 2004

suspended in honey
liquid fun
redwood canopy
sweet acceptance
music of spheres
splashed upon our faces
fires burning into our guts and gusto
chock-a-block feasts
panoply of friends
limitless ardor
days/nights, nights/days
all one moment
without hiatus
we revel and reel
home is here
moving with us
into completion
before we return
to earth

Mick 8-9-2004

Off To The Woods

sounds of paradise
we'll have to do it ourselves
steel tent pegs sod-bound

morning air pan pipes
hot-cake breakfast can just wait
south america

a folk gathering
one year of soaking it in
sponging up juices

who needs a haiku
syllables aiming to dance
lark in the morning

mick 8-30-2004


lark in the morning
bacchanalia in extremis
we lucky few hundred
to ply the waves of
the world's folk 
in its strings and blow holes
its skins and feet
trippingly balanced
in wafts through
mendocino woodlands air;

we might turn to the fire
a circle of glowing friends
within reach of coffees and cakes
and fantasies!
into the late night's easy pace;

a chance encounter with
luminous irish stringed melodies
holds us and leads us and
we levitate without care;

in the sheltered dining hall
a tearful audience witnesses
five women in old rags
of the balkans
bring us to our birth and back
they know we are with them
and with our tears streaming
we carry them

what secret ecstasy
the dance-hall floor
must feel; what secrets to tell!

packing up one year
leads to packing
for the next
and the next might be
as soon as a year of tunes

mick 8-8-99

The Musician

he has no front teeth
but sings in fourteen languages
his hands are gnarled
yet he plays fifteen instruments
he is suleiman the great
and each year
his reputation expands
along with his beard
his fetching wife dances
as he plays gypsy dulcimer
his grit and grime
carry the melodies
into an amber-soaked cosmos
we are spellbound
and begin to discern
that this music is his shackle
to our world
every note
forging a link
into his radiant chain

mick 7-29-2000

Back From The Woods

where the music
played for us
like the fire
each day and night
burning for us
like the ancient redwoods
for us
and, of course
all the loving from
four hundred faces
cheering us on
such is lark music camp
for one week each year
all for one and
all for all

mick 8-5-2000

Lark Music Camp 2002 Haiku

many eyes around
faces in fire blazing
rum cake on warm chins

walking up steep trail
mostly pleasurable feel
snoring on all sides

pipes playing through trees
ancestral red hair flowing
everyone dancing

not lost amid jokes
musical summer showers
jester spraying crowd

night falls over heat
familiar sounds of kissing
lovers in shadows

happiness right now
time wanting to stop and play
must we wait a year?

mealtime under sun
work is an oxymoron
lark in the morning

mick 8-14-2002

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