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The Trail

The Trail

 

Who gets the good?

Who gets the bad?

We do at least in here

We have it for the asking

We ask it of ourselves

We ask providence for help

This much we get

 

One step and then the other

And we’re on our way

Toward a path we’ve chosen

And which, if

Covertly (this is grace

until revealed, sometimes

a surprise)

Will have chosen us

 

The good then selecting

The bad will make a claim as well

Spirits will mediate

Depending on tradition and

Our current habits

Stay the path being generally

Good advice

Ready to move,

Even to change course

Should that become

Necessary

(tricks or illusions)

Good will let us alter ways

When needed

Bad should like to keep us in a rut

Neither trail

Path or gap

Being easy

Though we can ask for help, again

That divinity would show us

 

More than allegory

(though allegory, too)

We’re talking choices for

The way

And on the way

It shouldn’t be guesswork

Maybe resorting to a text

Thoughts and insights should help

The kind that only hurt

Or serve single ambition might

Indicate the other

 

Finally, we’ll find elsewhere

That feels like home

Even if home

We never really had

Because it is

Nothing but strangeness and

Foreboding

Should a turn be wrong,

Which will be all right

Because we can turn again

 

C L Couch

 

Photo by Alex Bertha on Unsplash

 

Going into Woods

Going into Woods

 

I’m not sure

Which way to turn

Or if the path is widening

Anywhere

A track would do

It needn’t be easy-going

Only a way that shows enough

Of this step and the next

Maybe it’s in a desert

Though I’d prefer a forest

With patches of sun and shade

On the ground

Rising to the sky

There could be a breeze to

Touch my face

With all the sounds around

Of everything that nature’s

Creatures call

To one another

 

But if a desert, so

And if a track I can barely see,

So be it

I haven’t mentioned company

Though I know of nothing bearing

That would say this journey

Must be taken alone

But the right companions

Well-humored, uncomplaining save

For the things we all complain

About with just enough good talk

To keep us going

With—this would be grace—long,

Deep listening when we stop

For night

 

Who knows where we’re going,

Some might have a quest

Others, questions

What I know is that we would be moving

I would be on the way

With them:

Nature, nature’s creatures,

Angel-guardians,

Acquaintances, siblings, parents,

Friends, all those

We know

And have yet to know

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

 

Broken Pathing

Broken Pathing

 

‘Round here, I guess it’s sinkholes

In other parts, it might be from

An I.E.D.

Or maybe lava turned to magma when

Nature groans upheaval

 

If I were walking, and an unformed line

Broke open before me,

Whether in the moment or who knows

How many hours before,

I’d wonder not only what to do

But also how it happened in the first place

Forming foreboding words,

Don’t cross here, not at this place

Not here

Walk around, if you can

Walk around

If I’m still here by nighttime

I might not tell one darkness

From the other

 

For all we say of woods and bread crumbs

(now ash),

Treasure might be on the other side

Or

A new way home

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA

The Big Trip | Moody Morning at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park — Explore more at explorehuper.com/the-big-trip.

 

Lent 24

Lent 24

 

In our time together,

We might travel far

In one way or another

We might hear sounds

See new sights

Enjoy new tastes

Feel the air and mist

That ribbon other shores

Smell the clarity of salt

 

It might be walking

Or a plane

Some other vehicle that gets us there

A conveyance of our bodies, yes

Our senses

Though must do

The harder work

It’s how we’re made

 

We give ourselves the data

Via input from our lives

(first machines)

What shall we learn, one by one

What shall we learn together?

 

So much to learn

So little time

But that’s no way to operate

We must value what we have

Each mote, each moment

Singly or together,

We can learn

While traveling far

In one way or another

 

C L Couch

 

 

Photo by Nicola Nuttall on Unsplash

 

The Wild (companion to “Way”)

The Wild

(companion to “Way”)

 

Maybe we can find another way

That no one’s taken

It’s a big world, after all

And we are small upon it

A road not ever taken

Not even a road

But what we make

Not an Appian macadam through an empire

Or cord wood laid down by artisan French

To consecrate

The king’s highway

 

Rude trail, if any

For others to press with

Greater permanence

Should they pass this way

On the track we have christened

Before nature grows it over

 

C L Couch

 

 

overgrown path

Overgrown Pathway Looking east across Banky Meadows.

david newton

from geograph.org.uk

Way

Way

 

if we don’t care when we get there

detours can be interesting

we might not know exactly where we’re going

anymore

and so find ourselves in something

new

and it’s not a jungle

overgrown

we’re still on roads or, if walking, on paths

we’ll still see houses, trees marching

to greet us

maybe around the bend, we’d like to find

a castle in a wild place

a dragon perched atop, looking to tilt

fang against spar not for life but for

local reputation,

bragging rights at the public house

 

the thing about the road less traveled

is that others have traveled it

we can go it alone

singing Sinatra like a mantra

(ouch)

but everything’s been trod, everything’s a trail

explored many times by pilgrims

owning a variety of causes

we go to see what has befallen

to know what has been

known

in new combinations

 

and in company

I believe

Is best

 

C L Couch

 

 

path in Taiwan

Taiping Mountain Path in Taiwan

Image credit: Justin Jones

https://www.boredpanda.com/path-photography/

 

The Lesson of Saint Francis

The Lesson of Saint Francis

 

We are all animals in

Beauty, here:

 

And we need guide each

Other to

A pilgrim path

In walking with the saints

Who would eschew

The capital s

 

Service is ennobled

(As are all better things)

When we love

To give away

What we have

 

To share with

All other creatures of

The Earth—

 

The sky, what’s

Under the water,

And what dances upon

The surface

 

In the measures and the

Rhythms

Of creation

Pilgrim Path

Pilgrim Path

Someday I’d love to walk
The path to Compostela, Spain
The pilgrimage of Saint
James and to his honor

Legacy, the pilgrim trail

I’d like to walk with company
I hear folk band together
On the way

The pilgrim path need not
Be done by one to count

God counts the pilgrim
In the heart, where the
Real path of challenges is trod

a psalm

Psalm on Sunday

Lord, make me a better person
It’s up to me, I know, to
Choose the better way
To find what has been
Called the straighter path

Here’s a problem, though: I
Like the path that bends

I like the walking adventure
Of not knowing what’s around
Or behind or under or over
The path that curves

And offers subtle mystery
(Sometimes overt)—I fear that

That’s the path for me

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