Saturday, May 14, 2005

earth note 85

youghiogheny river trail

there’s a primeval crashing
of whitecaps along the trail
syncopated thunder lighting
a dark eerie precursor to sundown
rain beating through every porous
rain-jacket opening
a rude cold awakening
bike tires looking for a hard surface to roll on
never thought of myself as a religious person
but it seems like some pagan god
is watching
maybe speaking

i’ve covered this trail many times before
it felt morning not evening
there were times i went on endlessly
half-dreaming...warm beaches 12000 miles away
every songbird
like a personal message

this time i hear kerouac’s desolation angels
a far-off comfort in these thoughts
jack died in his bottle...stealing his warmth
through our fingertips holding the page
now beaten into a cold rain

there’s a heavy canopy of trees
shielding off the strongest of the downpour
a crack of white lighting speaks with power
and directness for anyone listening

the river divides into boulders
swirling pools
a chute that drops four feet and races
mad as a street poet in chelsea
there were times i saw this river low & limp
warmly sleeping in the moss

but now

i’m afraid of stopping
better to just lean into a wet wind
until it passes
new clouds of darkness are rolling up
from the north...i see it in the gap on my left
a wash of water cleans out a nest of fallen dead leaves
a rock dislodges
gets buried in confusion
chipmunks have stopped crossing the trail

--- e b bortz

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