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On the Trail
by
Mark Thalman


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At any one point, I can only see so far ahead
or behind.  Whenever I get there is when I arrive.
 
Tell time from the way fir shadows fall.
Call down canyons . . .
 
Sing with my echo,
a ball that always bounces back.
 
When my retriever tires of being the leader,
his wet nose behind my knee nudges me forward.
 
Camping by a small nameless lake,
gather pine cones and pitch to kindle a fire.
 
Meteors shoot like sparks across constellations,
smolt darting in a stream.
 
Keep clear of bears. Recite “The Road Not Taken”,
so they know I am there.
 
Chipmunks make the best friends.
If coyotes howl at the moon, join the choir.
 
Pace myself.  Move at a steady beat.
Be persistent as rain.
 
 
This poem first appeared in Split Rock Review.
Used here with the author's permission.

 


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Mark Thalman, editor of poetry.us.com and author of Catching the Limit (Fairweather Books), has been widely published for four decades. He received his MFA from the University of Oregon, and is retired after teaching English in public schools for 32 years. Mark, also an artist who enjoys painting wildlife scenes with acrylics, lives in Forest Grove, OregonLearn more about him at www.markthalman.com.

 


Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
Feels very relaxing being on that trail--despite the possibility of bears!
Posted 10/06/2018 08:16 PM
cork:
I frequently talk to myself aloud, and now I can explain why. Thank you.
Posted 10/06/2018 09:56 AM
Don Colburn:
Beautiful, Mark. You, and these lines, move as naturally and persistently as fir shadows or rain. And those meteors -- smolt! Cheers and all best along the trails to come and roads taken or not. Don
Posted 10/06/2018 09:44 AM
wordartdjc:
I really enjoyed this poem it felt so 'human' and real.
Posted 10/06/2018 08:20 AM


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