Down a forest path, Muir woods of California
-a final note
Between my footfalls I find,
That haunting silence that pervades all woods.
Waiting there, between the whimpering leaves
And jubilant glee of the Wren as it echoes in the wind.
The last triumphant amber and honeyed rays,
Tunnel through trunked warm umber and clay
To crown the victors of this day.
But to my rear,
Only the shadows now grow;
The very path turns sable and of soot.
And the many failures of my past
Are forever perched as the watchful crow.
Squawk! The knots inside me tighten.
Squawk! I fall, cascading through memory.
Squawk! My fists are clenched.
The gentle grasping hands of verdant fern now close—to pray.
Their last appeal, pulls all my courage asunder and I kneel to obey,
That throbbing emerald pulse of all Life.
Burrowing from down below
And up the fluted bark, branching and breaching,
Baseless and boundless in its beauty.
The pistol is cold and acrid in my mouth.
*A failed attempt at the style of James Wright’s, Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota (link)