The farmer was bending over furrowed land
When the sandy, serpentine trail claimed me.
There was an embrace of irregularities,
A nonchalant dismissal of symmetries.
Imagined perfection had no business being there.
Jagged rocks thrusted, asserted themselves.
There were muddy patches and caked brown leaves.
A few brown leaves crackled on dignified trees.
Broken boughs, fallen pine needles, pine cones,
The coarse bark, the pine trees, crooked and ******,
The hiker, slightly turned, peeing up ahead,
Other types of trees leaning, almost mischievously,
As though by some imagined door, overhearing
A secret or confession of someone they loved -
All received the warmth and affection of March.
Amidst such affection, I sometimes heard
The distant call of a train, the cacophony
Of dogs, the twitter or piercing note of a bird,
Someone thumping down a brow of wooden stairs,
Talking on his cell phone of mundane affairs.
There was no disturbance, but a silence
Cradling March light, a sweet acceptance,
A space, delighted, seeming profoundly amused
At its own various playful expressions,
Not labeling one as higher or lower.
I passed a hillock with straight and crooked tombstones,
Turned, and reached a little secluded spot,
Where small birds - not woodpeckers - were pecking
At dark naked boughs, jaunty, sometimes hopping upward,
Sometimes swinging downward, alighting on other trees.
They continued their business closer and closer
To me, or busy play, whatever it was.
They pecked away on the same tree, moving away
From each other on nearly level, opposite boughs
Until they became eyes of a beautiful, strange face
With dark webs or veins by which the clear sky
Smiled a quiet, mischievous, welcoming smile.
I stayed awhile and the twilight awoke -
Old thoughts would return as surely as night;
Confusion would burn, and that was all right -
And I made my way back, growing hungry.
This poem is included in my book "I Have Been Moved", which is available on Amazon for as little as 14 dollars (paperback).