Poem: You Have to Walk A While to Get There

You Have To Walk A While to Get There

You have to walk a while to get there,
and it is not a path of vistas and post card scenery.
A small nature preserve
on the outskirts of a small town in upper New York.
Only a tiny sign marks the road in.

You have to walk a while to get there.
There are dead logs on the ground
with mushrooms growing on the bark.
The underbrush is thick and full of briars.
Pine trees rise. Pine needles cover the path
so your footfalls are nearly silent.

Half way there, there is a pond.
It is spring fed, with no outlet.
by early summer the water is thick with pollen,
a yellow glaze on still water. A dead place.
Strangely peaceful.
The bridge across it is rickety and old.
One day, you know, it will rot away
and you will have to walk around the pond
to get here.

And here you are.
Wetlands spread around you.
A tideless creek runs through it.
A Van Gogh palette of water and reeds.
It is silent. An emptying place,
suitable for souls like yours, in need
of purging and preparation.
You sit on the ground, comfortable
with the hush. You heal in the quiet.
You have to walk a while to get there.

About this poem

Peace is no longer our natural state in today’s world. We have to go there, seek it, create it.

The picture was taken at a small nature preserve not far from my home.

Tom

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