The weight of all we felt

This day could be drawn in pencil it’s so drab.
The roads are wet with rain
and the leaves are down,
the birch with their spindly arms
and dragon eyes,
a tangle of dead leaves,
a lone bird…
this feeling of the trees
stripped down to the underlying form,
the self’s like that too,

Yet here in nature there is no wanting
for what we don’t have,
there only is.
The striations on the muddy path,
the tracks and ruts,
the ground is always like that,
always changing,
the same as us.

And I have come back to the trail to lose or to find myself in this season of soft color and low light.

I’ve come back to remember that I’m more than myself, I can let go of myself,
I can be a part of something bigger,
I never left.

And the lopped off limbs,
the blown down leaves,
all this is a part of me.
The song of some awkward bird
the same as mine, off key.

And when I’m on the trail I’m connected in a real way,
a way I can see and feel.
Not by wavelengths or wires
but by the smell of the ground,
the roots and leaves, and all that is real.

I have come back to the trail to lose or to find myself but can’t decide, is the self something
to capture and to catch, or to set free?

I am bound and released by the weight of this, with nowhere else to go but here, no one else to be but me.

Categories: identity, poetry


14 replies

  1. Viewed from my limited experience with poetry, this is quite good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jeff, appreciate that…the trail part must resonate anyways! I like your accounts of being out, there’s something therapeutic about it for sure. Thanks for reading and be well


  2. Excellent! And I sure like that last line a lot “I am bound and released by the weight of this…”
    I know what you mean about the smell of the ground, roots & leaves, and we’ll all part of that big cosmic compost aren’t we. Now I’m going to use my spindly arms to go and dig for Robbie Robertson’s “The Weight” and crank it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Weight! Great song. If that’s the one about “pulling into Nazareth looking half-past dead,” I have a special relationship with that song since my stepdad worked for Martin guitars there and I lived near that town when I was in Bethlehem. And funny names of places this time of year. Great to hear from you Robert and sending glad tidings to you and yours old friend! Bill


  3. This took me vicariously to “the trail” … high time! … your question in closing truly resonates: for me, a continuing debate re corralling vs setting free, sensing that corralling myself might provide freedom for certain others but somehow unwilling to lock any gates … a sense that I have more to encounter, observe, incorporate. Hence GET BACK TO THE TRAIL!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jazz and happy holidays! Yes I went down the rabbit hole on this topic for a while and just had to get this off my chest, glad it resonated and man I don’t know what I’d do without the trail! Be well and thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I echo the comments above.

    Birches were part of what eased me through our Southern Winter … and you’ve brought them back to me with this piece. Thank you, Bill.

    Wishing you all the best for Christmas/ New year.


    Liked by 1 person

    • You too David! Happy Christmas and New Year and hope you’re able to maybe get out and enjoy yourselves some. Wouldn’t that be nice, southern friend? Ha!


  5. This poetry is what thrilling adventure is, lyricism, conjuring a perfect image making it a rich journey. Absolutely beautiful, Bill:)

    Liked by 1 person

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