clear road whitewashed with winter’s stains

fluorescent letters signal to drifting souls

motels stuck in 1968 take them in to sin

singing silent songs of yesterday’s pain

under warm cover of new part-time flesh

somewhere, asphalt cracks frozen sinkholes

to be patched, half-assed in vain attempts

tires roll on, tires roll on, tires roll on

to the next town, the next body, bed

flip book fantasies found fleeing stark realities

previously worn lives left in the motel mini-bar

unpaid and abandoned like last season’s style

in the distance, the sunset fools the driver

interminable time until tomorrow

~ E



Big Apple Blues


Today, I am missing NYC. I don’t know why it’s on my mind, but it is.  Perhaps it is because it is the only bright spot in my otherwise dark year, those 9 gloriously debaucherous, gluttonous, free-flying days.

No, scratch that. I know why I miss it. Because it was an escape from life. And given how things have been this year, my escape-bones are twitching again.

On impulse at the grocery store yesterday, I bought an issue of Seattle Met magazine where the main cover article is: “Best Road Trips 2016.”  Yup…I’m itching.

I can’t survive without getting away, even if it’s just a day outside of the city, in the trails, breathing the air. I haven’t been able to do that this year.  I’m grateful for my nearby trails and beach in the neighborhood I’m in; if it weren’t for them…I may just be a goner by now.

I miss ferry rides. I miss running. I miss packing a bag, with no destination, and seeing where I end up.  That’s my way.

Give me 30 minutes, and I can throw only what I need in a bag and get the hell out of Dodge.

I’m quite talented at that.

Life doesn’t always let me. But, if I had a choice, I’d be a permanent wanderer, an endless explorer — a photojournalist, a documenter of the human experience: the world’s, and mine.

…always with a home to come to, but only because I want to, not because I have to.

NY journal entries

NY-inspired poetry

Wild Horses ~ a true story.


(Photography by Emily Clapper, 10/2014, Waipio Valley, Big Island, Hawaii)

The day was tropical blue
the air was sugarcane sweet
the road was deadly steep
but I had a Jeep

I dared the ride, 25% grade
steepest road in the country
but made it far down
into mystical Waipio Valley

The Valley of the Kings
the history rich
King Kamehameha I
his childhood home

5 miles deep, 1 mile wide
politically, religiously storied
taro farmers and waterfalls
black sand crescent beach

Like Indiana Jones, I drove
over mammoth puddled potholes
almost stuck once or twice
but made it down to shore

Parked along the beach
played in the sand, marveling
the peace, the cliffs, the waves
the energy strong with spirit

But, when I went back to leave
I paused sensing something
to my right…six wild horses
sauntered toward the water

Their manes blowing free
gazes toward the sea
an ancient knowing
I cannot explain

But one…one turned toward me
with a look that saw through
straight to my soul
beyond powerful

I froze

On a burial site they stood
themselves perhaps old souls
the secrets they knew
the wild freedom
I may never know

A respectful bow, I left
their home, but left part of me
my soul forever touched

hoping someday

I’ll ride free

a wild horse



~ Emily Clapper



Almost two years ago, I had the opportunity to explore the Big Island of Hawaii all by myself after finishing a 2 week Yoga intensive certification. I had 4 days with a Jeep and an AirBnB.  I packed it full, as I do, and maximized my experience. I drove around the island in my Jeep, hitting some pretty incredible locations. This was one of them, Waipio Valley. It is indeed a 25% grade steep road to the valley floor and only all-wheel drive vehicles are allowed to attempt it.  I was nervous, but I did it.

I was treated to some amazing moments down there, once I traversed the terribly rough roads.  But, the wild horses…took my breath away.

The pictures are real, they were taken by me that day.
Enjoy the slideshow below.

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Alice in Manhattan


She swirled her snow globe upside down
watched the snow glittering around
the city inside, the shrunken metropolis
imaginary people unseen amongst sparkles

She had walked those streets not long ago
a girl in Manhattan strolling distances alone
concrete jungle of hopes and dreams
of fiery personas buzzing likes bees

Alice in Wonderland with rainbow hair
palpitating heart worn on her sleeve with flair
wondering eyes, wandering soul
she left part of it there
for later retrieval


~ by Emily C.



Central Park ~ NY poem #6

The long plot of trees
carved out of concrete
jungle, a haven of peace
where people retreat
to spend a moment
an hour, a picnic
or along the lake, sit
in quiet amidst the bustle
the hustle of uptown
where folks sit down
breathe on grass green
pause on famed benches
or stroll arm in arm
a beau with his lady
an upperclass woman
with her Pomeranian
from Long Island
monied maidens
or models posing
by blooming roses
the meandering pathways
lit by romantic lantern posts
of storied times
by ponds sublime
row boating at sunset skyline
reflecting what can’t be seen
from center city
between upper east and west
a treasure chest
of natural respite
in the city that never sleeps
it’s the only dark spot
at night,

but the magnet

of life by day

~ Emily Clapper