I’m trudging along the blue ridge—

scanning for beauty, note pad ready.

The path in the woods is shaded ’til noon.

Dew stays on the grass beside the marked trail.


The path up the mountain looks over into valley,

where droplets of water dance on the jagged rocks.


When I die, I will not leave behind

books, piled high enough, but rather,

like Keats, my brain will be under-gleaned.

So many words.   So little light. 

I refuse to think this pain away.  “No, no!” I cry,

at the over-look, where the houses below look like

toys. “The hush will come soon enough.

There are hints already in the green water.”

I am scuffing my boots as I climb.


So many words.  With so little light—

but the God judges love offerings, even now,


before a breathless body’s burned, charcoal ashes

thrown to the wind, return to the forest with its

small gray squirrel and in the spring mating robins,

past the calling loons, and then still, still, on.


first published in Southern Hum