Nameless Rivers Flow

There are writings one can read in which a whole new venue opens.  Such was the case with my first reading of the Robert Service poem, “To the Men of the High North”.  I was thrilled and frightened by the reading.  I was all of 10 years when I first read it.  But I soon forgot it.  It affected me, but did not open doors for me. It was, therefore, not the initial reading, that so engraved the lasting mark on my mind, but the reintroduction.

It can be said that many things are written on bathroom walls, which are often read but should not be. It is rare that something is placed upon the walls of stalls that can be found worthy of reading, let alone retaining for memory.

But once upon a moment, for me, it did.

In a tiny bathroom, in the Forestry building on the campus of Purdue University, I happen to look left and read:

The nameless men who nameless rivers travel,
and in strange valleys greet strange deaths alone;
The grim, intrepid ones who would unravel
the mysteries that shroud the Polar Zone.

There was not attribute given.  Thus, I did not know whom was being quoted. I only knew, I had heard it before.  And that I must find out the writer’s name.

This was in the early days of the building wave of information access. To become known as, the Internet.  So the search for information was still conducted the old-fashioned way: Library card files!

I will admit it: I HATE, card files!  I love information, but my ADHD; or so it was labeled; but we both know it was just sheer impatience that would rattle my brain.  By the time I was nearing a location, I would lose interest and quit.  This dilemma, into which I bulldozed each and every time, was one of the core reasons I began a dogged search for, as I used-to-say,

“I am looking for a method technology that would allow me to live from ‘here to Okavango, Botswana’ and still do my work, market my work, sell my work and communicate with business associates, colleagues and clients.”

What I had sought since May 1975, I would find in January 1990, the technology that became the Internet.

Needless to say, I neither asked the right people for help and I did not find the information in the hell-hole, known as the Dewey Decimal card file system!  Thus… the WHOM behind the verse went unanswered.

Fast forward to the year 2004.  I was doing my usual Google Search for one thing and finding an entire Universe of something else, vastly more interesting and informative.  In the process I came across the quote again. But this time, I was able to bread-crumb it back to the source. VOILA! I found Robert Service and and a wonderful online compilation of his poetry.

In honor of the fabulous writing of Robert Service, I have produced this eLITHOGRAPH image, from a photo I took in 2004 while in Alaska.  When I took the photo on 10 October 2004, standing alongside a paved highway, looking out over this glacier fed river in the heart of the Alaskan wilds, my mind immediately went to the Robert Service poem, “To the Men of the High North“, I had rediscovered only a couple of months earlier.

It fit. I so amazingly fit. I saw it. Smelled it. Tasted it.  The ‘intrepid ones’… I could hear their voices.  And I thanked them for their courage and suffering. I still do.

This eLITHOGRAPH is named, “Nameless Rivers Flow”.  It measures 34″ x 24.5″ and prints out as a watercolor.


Nameless Rivers Flow, Les Booth, OOAKGallery
Nameless Rivers Flow; eLITHOGRAPH by Les Booth; 34″ x 24.5″, watercolor output




Fishing ELIXIR

Fishing ELIXIR, verse by les booth; reference photo by Bill Elliott | eLITHOGRAPH  17″x15″

A ‘Throw Back‘ photo caught my eye when it was posted by ‘Friend-Not-Yet-Met’, Bill Elliott. As many of my FB Friends know, such a collision of image and timing – can generally dislodge a story, poem, haiku or some sort of textual creation.

This event, was no different.

Taking the image and recreating it as an eLITHOGRAPH and composing a few lines of verse to fulfill the promise of story – combining them – I built the following full image montage – recapping Bills illustrious career as a top sporting life illustrator, painter and spokesman for outdoor activities.

eLITHOGRAPH: ‘Fishing ELIXIR’ measures 17″x15″.

Thanks to Bill Elliott for the inspiration and the ability to fill, quite nicely, another slot among my Facebook Gallery,

‘Artist in-Situ’, as well as permission to create from his original image.

Enjoy.  – AOJ




Invader By Trace

The light.  Just easing over the edge

of the window sill and pouring down, into the room, like a waterfall, moments before the flash flood engulfs the entire river bed.

The photon missile sent from the exploding orb, 93 million — and some-odd-change-miles — out in space, slammed into my over-used, alcohol abused, ocular orb, otherwise known as my left eye… with barbaric insensitivity.

One moment, bliss-filled comfort: it was dark: OFF. The next nanosecond it was ON! Bright! Fusing vision and pain in one gigantic, violent movement to get away. But I, did not move. It was only my mind perceiving the desire to movement, not the sensation of noted neurological response. It was far too early, into a recovering Sunday morning, after a most unfortunate liquid-driven, sleep-deprived, Saturday night. Despite the neurons records of firing, the only loads going off — were blanks.

Nothing was getting through.

Then the orbiting ball of nuclear fission, out there in deep space, decided to ramp up the wager. The clouds of favorable diffusion decided to part, just enough to allow for an Orwellian blast of trauma, piercing the geothermal crack in the ocular orb’s covering. Sending a searing column of excited photons screaming across the cornea to plunge head-long into the depths of the retinal zone. The result was an explosion of pain that shot through both ocular orbs, blowing both coverings open.

Now I was, wide … well, OK. Blindly lying there with one eye; barely open.

It was then that I saw it.

AD Maddox,  Ashlin Hellraisers, flie series, ©2015
AD Maddox ©2015 Ashlin Hellraisers, flies series

Looming, not a foot away from my left eyeball. A gigantic alien form. Growing with each second that ticked off the atomic clock. Its outer shield of armor expanding upon the march of the photon beam of nuclear fissile energy. Marching across the table. Heading straight for my eye. And I could not move. I was still immobilized by the self-induced comatic remedy sent to us from the far away shores of Brigadoon. I was helpless! I was going to have my eye impaled by a senseless, heartless, brain-devouring alien monster. I had to do something.

Sweat began to form on my upper lip. I began to chill. My heart raced; so much so that it began to thump in my ears like an old John Deer tractor. Increasing with each second’s passing, I just knew it would Alien right out of my chest. Landing on the floor to forever Tell Tale Heart my demise to the world.

The world tilted toward disaster as the alien invader crept, ever closer, toward my delicate and unprotected eye.

It had eyes, too. Big ones. They were bright. Shiny. Heartless. Soulless. Orbs of evil reflection. Reflection of its evil intentions. Nothing inside. Stealing the brief point of reflection – that which it encountered – into a fauchard of raped reality. It looked upon me as nothing more than a piece of meat on its way to domination. I meant nothing to this soulless creature from deep space.

How did it get here? Where did it come from? What the heck is it, anyway??

As the sun continued to rise, the alien’s pace quickened. Closer. Closer. Closer, it marched. A river of sweat was now pouring down my back, across my brow, over my lip and onto the pillow. Mingling with the pool of pillowed nocturnal spittle deposition. Oh, I was a sitting-duck. Ripe for the picking, plucking, mucking. What a dupe. If I could only move. I’d get my gun and blast it straight to Hell! But I can’t! Hell! I don’t even know if I am really awake!

I am a pathetic mess.

Then suddenly there was a warm, fetid, yet cold, and definitely wet sensation exploding all over my face. I can no longer see the alien. It must have blasted me with some sort of chemical bomb. It’s blinding me with some concoction of alien toxins… well in advance of its final pounce!

I am Doomed!

“Max! Max! MAX!!!! Get off the bed and stop licking A.d.’s face. You know she doesn’t like that. C’mon. Let’s go get you a walk in. I’m sure you need to get ‘outside’ to ‘green-up-the-grass!”

“Hey A.d., time to get up. You’ve got paintings to get done. And you really need to stop leaving those flies all over the house. One of those things could end up in bed with you. I bet that thing would put your eye out! That would be all you need. C’mon! Get up! Before that fly on the side table gets you.”

Ahhh.. So that’s your angle. Alien mind-control! You beguiling evil alien beast! Make me think you’re harmless. OK! You crafty creature of doom. I may still be paralyzed by alcohol-induced neuron-impairment, but you will NEVER succeed. I will NEVER give in.

This is WAARRRRRRRR!!!!!

A.D. Maddox Studios –

Written by Arthur O’fieldstream | Image by A.D. Maddox