Sunday, November 1, 2015

From My Nature Journal: When I Get to Heaven

When I get to heaven, tell me there will still be woods,
          Where a sauntered pace
          May be had without needing to keep
          One’s bearings of time or space,
          Forests with birds and creatures
          And bits of splendor that take breath away:
          Spring Beauties and Forget-Me-Nots,
          Summer’s ferns and fungus,
          Autumn leaves that crackle afoot
          Belying midwinter’s absurd stillness;
          And, yes, one with whom to walk who enjoys it as I, or as You.
I do love the woods.

When I get to heaven, tell me there will still be canoes,
          That skim cold, pristine lakes,
          Leaving wakes
          That last not long,
          By quiet stroke and firm hand
          Easing gently over mirror calm,
          Or bobbing swell and wave
          Into bright, hidden bays
          Where eagles nest and loons dive,
          Or sliding into dark, night water
          Silver by moonshine all the way to rocky shore.
I do love canoes.

When I get to heaven, tell me there will still be seasons,
          When color palates fly -- 
          January’s blazing whites,
          Lupine’s spring, a rainbow’s July,
          Aspen’s or maple’s fall,
          Living greens, waning yellows, dying reds,
          Late summer suns whose early setting
          Have always made me sad
          These things have to end,
          Like winter hearth-fires that blaze like those suns
          But then look so cold when the morning comes.
I do love seasons.

And if there be foolishness in me
For laying such earthly hope upon heaven’s landscape,
Have mercy on me, Lord:
I love this world you made.

It’s what I know.

(Endnote: I saw the rough idea for this poem many years ago, anonymously cited, so it’s not completely original to me. But at that time, I added significantly to it and adapted it so extensively that I cannot now recall what was original and what is mine. To this day, though, I am still unable to come up with a source, so if any part of it sounds familiar to you and you can set me straight, I’d appreciate you letting me know so I may give credit appropriately. Thanks.)

~~ RGM, October 31 2015

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