Sick of this world,
I take a morning walk
up a nearby mountain trail I’ve long neglected.
As I trudge the uphill path,
I wave good-bye to those figments of reality
that are but squatters in my brain—
that by their constant presence
have proclaimed themselves to be
the intrinsic truths of our world.
I blame the internet
for choosing what we see
and those fools we meet there
we’d never have occasion to listen to.
The path is rough
with dirt and grass,
rubbled by rough stones
like uncut gems.
crown a pile of
drying palm fronds,
as though they’ve been parted from their legs
much as the palm fronds have been
severed from their trees.
Banks of golden flowers
form walls on
then give way to
stalks of purple blooms
with saffron tongues
and multi-colored clover.
The white bands of butterflies
striped like zebras
announce their presence in the shade,
and even the litter
is fallen flowers.
In the path lies
the circular mounded artistry of ants
that signals that new and private world
they’ve cleared out for themselves below.
Too soon, and long before I would have turned
to renegotiate a path now sloped downwards,
a closed gate either forgotten
or new since I last passed this way
so many years before,
turns me homewards,
past the abandoned shoes
and fallen trees turning into soil,
past the orange blooms of a tabachine tree,
past stone walls
and more contained beauty.
The runoff from last night’s rain
shoots from the drain that pierces a high stone wall.
Mushrooms grow on a woodpile
beneath the bright yellow of a neighbor’s tabachine,
and a split-open pomegranate
from my own tree
forms a happy face, welcoming me home
as my across-the-street neighbor’s new small dog,
unaccustomed to me,
barks out her protest
of this interloper
who has been newly saved
by the reality
of the wild beauty
of our world
that was here
before we came,
has been here
after we leave.
This is the more constant truth of the world,
and I return home
to create a reminder of it.
To see photos of the walk, click Here and then click on each photo to enlarge it and advance to an enlarged view of the rest of the photos. (An abridged version of this poem is given as captions to explain the photos but omits some of the above stanzas.)