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 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,
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