‘The West County Trail’

 

The West County Trail

Through the early morning fog,

Rabbits pause

On the trail

Listening for danger;

Frozen

In place.

Then, in  zig-zag flurry

Scamper into the briars

And marshland bog

At the ‘click‘,

‘Tap‘,

Of a walking stick.

Vineyards

Stretch beyond

Dappled tunnels

Of old grove olive

And moss-draped oak.

Wild things are checked

By the yoke of this new world,

Of Tuscan villas

Newly ancient,

With special effects and high walls

To protect

The privilege

With acres of Pino,

And stretches of pungent Lavender

Perfumed in the heat

Of the noon-day burn-off.

The wild things hide

Until dusk,

Until night

Reclaiming the land—-

This path

For themselves.

For a short spell,

The hand of time

Waits for the natural world.

Small piles of fox shit,

Cigarettes snuffed

In a crushed,

Styrofoam cup

By Jennifer Ryan's memorial-rest-bench,

And bird-dropped blackberry runs,

Insult the sacred,

Which every morning greets

Wheelers, joggers, and walkers

Seeking peace,

Renewal,

With determined programs

Of restoration.

 

Tangles of chaotic,

Sweet Peas,

Scentless and abundant

Catch the eye and disappoint

The tamed expectations of ‘sweet.’

Same, with delicate, spidery phlox,

Long escaped from old farm gardens—

Bright magenta thistles

Stand tall among the taller

Queen Anne Lace and

Sky blue hickory.

In a single hour or two

Of alone;

Thinking and not thinking:

We’ve been around,

Most of us—-

And, thus know

The goings on.

Looking, observing and wondering

As only the melancholy joy

Can do.

So it goes

On the trail,

Until the flickering

Dash of a covey quail sets us free.

For a few moments,

For a few brief seconds

We too, see the Way.

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