A Walk in the Woods
One sunny day I left my home to gallivant
the countryside. I sought for something to arrest
my wandering thoughts. The mountains’ beauty can enchant
a lonesome heart and set a weary soul at rest.
I parked the car along the road near mountain’s crest,
then grabbing bag and bottle, I began to scale
the rugged path made mostly out of lime and shale.
I stopped a hundred times before I’d gone a mile,
for everywhere I looked, I spied some small detail
that seemed to say, “Please stop and stay with me a while.”
Beyond a patch of yellow pine I saw a plant
I’d never seen before. As if at its behest,
I wandered off the path a little ways to grant
myself a closer look. With care, lest I molest
the creatures who’d received me as their welcome guest,
I pulled aside a branch and managed to unveil
a flower bright and blue, with petals soft and frail.
Unlikely as it seems, then came in single file
a fine, distinguished-looking family of quail
who seemed to say, “Please stop and stay with me a while.”
The sound of rushing water found my ears. I can’t
begin to tell you how it made my heart feel blessed.
I walked toward the music with a matching chant
of which I chose the tune, but let the rocks suggest
a daring dotted rhythm, for it sounded best.
Shoes off, I wet my feet and took a deep inhale.
The cold was unexpected, but did not prevail
against my happiness. I sat upon my tiny isle
till on the rock I chanced to spy a passing snail.
It seemed to say, “Please stop and stay with me a while.”
I squatted on the path to watch a busy ant
who bore a burden many times his size. And lest
I trample him, I picked my steps on pathway scant.
Then looking up, I noticed robin’s orange breast,
and whether ‘twas a song of love or strong protest,
she called to me in accents neither brief nor frail
until I’d passed and turned the corner on the trail.
I chanced upon four does who stood in regal style.
Before they turned and showed to me each snowy tail,
they seemed to say, “Please stop and stay with me a while.”
From somewhere in the brush a frog began to rant—
or maybe he was mating, for he croaked with zest.
I rested by a quiet brook to slow my pant.
A duck there, followed by her younglings three abreast,
was heading to the water from a hidden nest.
She dipped her head and came up with a fish. So they’ll
learn too, though many times they tried, to no avail.
The Carolina wrens can always make me smile!
With vibrant voice they called to me a hearty hail
and seemed to say, “Please stop and stay with me a while.”
The loss of luster soon compelled me to recant
my stubborn inclination to pursue this quest.
The ball of sun, suspended at a downward slant,
reminded me that I too should be heading west.
I gazed upon its glow and made but one request:
“Don’t fall too far or cause the sky to grow too pale
before I’ve left the mountain’s wood and crossed the vale.”
For though I’d gladly make this place my domicile,
my family awaits at home. —”Hush, nightingale!
You seem to say, ‘Please stop and stay with me a while.’”
Now tired, I yawn and spend my breath in one exhale.
At home, with sights and sounds my friends I’ll soon regale.
But if someday some cause should force me to exile,
I’ll run back to this peaceful place where, without fail,
all seem to say, “Please stop and stay with me a while.”
Copyright © 2020 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved
Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.
Double Ballade Supreme
an isosyllabic poem of 60-65 lines divided into 6 ten-line verses with an optional 5-line envoy
Metered: iambic tetrameter, pentameter, or hexameter—pick one and be consistent