ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Poems & Poetry

2020

Updated on February 23, 2016
Campfire in the Woods (J. Bernal, 1950)
Campfire in the Woods (J. Bernal, 1950)

An old man walking through the woods at twilight comes upon some campers by a fire:

A young family of three, clad in pelts and deerskin sit huddled round the campfire to keep warm.

The wafting smell of roasting squirrel and rabbit reminds him that he hasn’t eaten in a long while.

So he walks into the camp and says “Good evening...I hate to ask but could you spare a bite?

I’m old and I don’t have that much to offer, but what I have is yours if you’ll be so kind.”


The old man bows his head...

And then the little girl says:


“Daddy look at that man’s pretty bracelet!” And her father says, “Sweetheart that’s a watch...”

The old man smiles and says “yes that’s right; it’s a watch I’ve had ever since I was a tyke.

I wear it to remind me of that time...though it stopped running when the battery finally died.

It helps me to remember how things used to be, because sometimes now it all seems like a dream.

But little one, if you like it you can have it—I’d gladly give it up for a bite to eat.”


The young man shakes his head...

And then the woman says:


“Mister you don’t have to give us nothing. We’ve plenty here and we’re happy to share with you.

It’s been so long and we’ve not had any company—Maybe you can entertain us with a story or some news.”


The old man sits down by the fire and says “Thank you! I’m much obliged, and will tell you what I know:

I’ve been wandering through these woods for a good many days, and you’re the only folks that I’ve found.

I came up through the city, but that’s no place to be: there’s not much of use there anymore.

The few that live there still are a cruel and dangerous lot—and I guess I was lucky to make it through with my life.

I went there hoping I might find some folks I used to know...but they’re gone like most everybody else.”


The old man shakes his head...

And then the young man says:


“Mister we’ve been living in these woods for years now—and there’s no one else anywhere near these parts.

My wife and I were just kids when it all came down. We found each other wandering alone.

For a long time we’ve waited for more people to show up, but no one ever has until now.

I’ve a feeling that you have a good heart. And I expect that you might know a thing or two.

Maybe you can stay with us and help us teach our daughter—the world we’re from is one she never knew.”


The young man pokes the fire...

And then the old man says:


“Thank you, yes I think that I would like that very much. And I do know some things that you might find of use.

I’ve been walking for so long now without any hope—but maybe things are starting to turn around....”

...


-From A Treasuretrove of Trash

© 2007 by JC

Listen to a recording of this song here (opens new window).

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Joyus Crynoid profile image
      Author

      Joyus Crynoid 4 years ago from Eden

      Thanks Marwan. I was quite moved by that book, which was one of the inspirations for this song!

    • marwan asmar profile image

      Marwan Asmar 4 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      It reminds me of a book I recently read called The Road by Cormac McCarthy where an apocalyptic picture of the end of the world is painted, one devoid of people, but the few that exist are simply on the road. Nice piece

    • Joyus Crynoid profile image
      Author

      Joyus Crynoid 5 years ago from Eden

      Thanks GuitarGear. I think we are headed that way and I agree it won't necessarily be a bad thing!

    • GuitarGear profile image

      Walter Holokai 5 years ago from Youngstown, Ohio

      Joyus, This story sounds like the result of a writing prompt from my Wed. Night Writer's Group. It's great. When I think about where the world is headed I wonder if a scene like this might not take place someday. Hopefully it won't be as soon as 2020 but when and if it does happen it might not necessarily be a bad thing. Thanks.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)