Dear Mountain Bear,
Thank you for going on the walk I did not do.
You have taken the shoes from under me,
and given them room to breathe the air of night,
while a cryptic owl swooped his silent flight
in search of the very thing I did my best to put away.
The hunt for fresher life, fertile and festive,
in the company of small mammals in plain sight,
in the company of trees in leaf,
earthworms and earthlings,
in the garden of the Big Bang.
It suited me to stay indoors,
and not to cry too much in the face of the messenger outside,
to celebrate a brave warrior‘s walk
into the cradle of my infancy,
into the face of my fears,
into the promise of my fertility.
Twas a bitter night,
earthworms driven deep,
swifts and swallows flown from sight,
few nuts laid to sleep.
On the road well-trudged
shoes sliding behind,
crowds into my face misjudged,
to their rhythm blind.
An all-weather pitch,
hummingbirds and rats,
a carpet woven eldritch,
oodles of green hats.
Twas a spark, a flame,
kindling wood for home
way beyond a trace of shame,
Too many good people
abroad with wisdom,
blessed good loving people
mend sorrow’s kingdom.
The Council shut the road outside Crawford Woods
blocked the way down Church Hill
forced us all to detour
day after day until sundown on Saturday.
They even parked a road-repairing, four-wheeled, monstrosity
– a rhinoceros of a stone-chip spreader –
outside the house of Adrian and Eimear
we couldn’t avoid talking to each other
for the first time since Halloween.
‘Twas sticking plaster on potholes
for the sake of bumps in the night
tyres in the daylight.
On the third, day the cock crowed
before the sun returned,
we could turn left again
to embrace our over-hanging trees
and shadow side.
Shards covered over
at least temporarily,
so earthworms can move forward now
beyond the known universe.
Road-opening without ceremony
an invitation to return to fruitful ways
– the journey of a lifetime.