Thursday, July 27, 2017

You Hike the Valley Alone / dVerse

You Hike the Valley Alone

i think of you now                   far away in a distant land         we are separated by

more than distance                   you hike the valley                  of the shadow of death            

 you do not stumble                 like the hike                              years ago                                  

 in haversuepie arizonia           the descent was straight down     a ten-mile hike 


 in that hot canyon                   most of the day            the mules passed us

they carried the mail                   in and out of the canyon            the dogs run alongside    

barking at their heels               hooves clatter on the rocks       the men yell

encouragement                          hoo! hoo!                                the sun beats down


the canyon an oven                   we stopped often                     to rest in the shade            

took our time                           descending slowly                    deep into the earth

the village another world    protected by vertical rock walls        cool at last

it is there we witnessed     the dragonfly/fire engine red        silently waiting

as if for us alone                stared into our eyes                 we stared back

camped near the falls         emerald green water                cascading over the rim

leaving all cares above...    on the last day                        we hiked most of the day

the hike had grown much harder     late in the afternoon          the final push

back to our waiting cars     the trail seemed to go straight up/ into the sky        days before

when we began                  we hardly noticed the descent       but the return assent

back to our lives above                  was very difficult                           out of water

we stopped often                for short rests                  we found three bottles of water

gratefully we took two       we met a young man on the trail     just beginning his hike

ten miles into the canyon       hot as hell                                    dressed in black

with black parasol               a definite spring in his step            for all the world

he appeared to be out for a stroll/ in a downtown park    the canyon floor many hours ahead

often wondered                 if he made it                                    did he find his way

or did he turn back            for you                                         there is no turning back

your heart is strong           though broken                          you hike the valley alone

April 4, 2016


Sarah Russell said...

This held me throughout, Annell. Poignant nad perhaps bittersweet. Thank you.

charliezero1 said...

I felt chills as I read through all this. It did feel like I was hiking alone with nothing but yourself and no one around. A bittersweet and wow! Love this.

Timoteo said...

If a poem ever causes me to continue thinking about it past the last lines, I know that's a good poem. I'm still reflecting on this one.

Frank Hubeny said...

The return ascent would be difficult especially if one had to get back in a certain amount of time. I remember climbing the Incline in Colorado Springs. The going up came first and I almost didn't reach the top taking a detour back down. Going down was pleasant. I am surprised someone wore all black in the heat on that trail. I hope he had water.

Thotpurge said...

I was gripped by this poem...the ascent and descent are perfect metaphors and the sadness of the final hike comes through so strongly.

Gayle Walters Rose said...

This speaks to me of someone (a loved one) who has now passed on from this earthly "hike" and is now traversing alone on the other side. I was spellbound by this, Annell.

ayala said...

Sad and poignant. Lovely piece!

Amaya Engleking said...

The assent back to our usual lives often evokes more of a sadness than the descent, into the wild unknown.

Paul John Dear said...

A most eloquent write on a timeless subject matter and the setting is so very personal it seems. That black dressed man with his black parasol and springed step gave me the shudders.

Lucinda Goce Bristol Tamhane Sahakian said...

emotional, and nice.

kaykuala said...

often wondered if he made it
did he find his way
or did he turn back

Strange people in strange situations (wearing black?) would act differently. They somehow survive. He would have found his way!


Sok Sareth said...

The free flowing thoughts created a beautifully visual poem that I was lost in...a world of lovely images that just keeps going.