It's the fall's last breath before the first of winter
and the breeze feels good when I stop to ponder
amid flowing streams and the birds distant twitter
and the occasional rustle of dried leaves –
though few remain on the trees;
on their tall trunks,
both branch and bough
tellingly swaying leaf bare now
And I hear voices calling above and below
on the trail, snatches, as the breeze carries them so;
indifferent among leaves of russet and yellow
as I sit where they've fallen beneath the trees
dreaming dreams of memories
to my minds eye
of soul felt things before they bye
Then it's on again with the climb past boulders strong
and stone laid stairs. Certain trees stand like beacons
saying: easy now, faster, conserve, move along –
teaching my body as my body learns the trail,
like the lifting of a veil,
awakening the spiritual.
I love places where the trail curves out around the slope
catching the freshening breeze, a cool relief,
to the stuffy course into the folds and having to cope
with the heat and feeling like I'm sweating to death
and being all out of breath
But journey calls
and I must go
hiking however fast or slow
The wind catches the few remaining brown turned leaves
their rustling sounds like soft fall of rain or the sea
and all is transformed beneath the forest's eves.
It's nice to escape from "have to be and want to be"
(though my tooth’s been killing me
- but I digress).
Mountain and wood,
being outside just feels good.
Overhead a hawk sails slow circles before my gaze
as I summit. At the overlook I take my ease,
the hills don’t roll as far into the distant haze
In the cool light they seemingly blur and they fade
as the sun, passing clouds shade.
Far from the crowds
my cares have flown
here in this place I am my own.
What is that mark within the heart that beats,
the knowing that says here my soul has found rest,
the distance into which my daily cares retreat?
Here forgotten in seeming remembrance
of clear vision seen in trance
blending of sky,
and wood, and stone,
than any home that I have known.
Long I stay but daylight fails at length and at last
and I turn my course downward like mountain stream
from heavenward thought to tread a more lowland cast.
And yet, one last breath I breathe deep of hallowed ground
and the part of me refound
as if finding
Is the right word.
As though a hawk is just a bird
The sun is westerning behind the mountain's crest
and goldens the tree tops with trunks shadow blessed.
Shadows lie deepening swiftly in twilight's rest
as I descend towards the still lake below
where sunsets last sparkles glow.
and before it comes I must go