Destination by Mark Ayers
By Mark Ayers
This morning I went a’ hiking
No particular destination in mind.
I meandered uphill on a well-trodden path
Amidst quiet pines and granite boulders.
Eventually, I headed towards Goat Hill
And its scenic panorama
Of rolling hills, solitary mesas,
And the distant village of Las Vegas just awakening.
On that hilltop, I climbed over rocks
And I wandered among the trees.
I noted the aspen giving way reluctantly
To the softer hardwoods,
In a timeless cycle of succession.
For a moment, I sat in silent contemplation
But eventually I arose to move on.
I knew I had not yet arrived.
I followed one rustic road,
And then another.
Searching for a familiar path,
Yet none appeared.
Still the forest beckoned
And I listened.
I walked among tall conifers
Their cones strewn in a carpet
Of fallen needles
And branches no longer needed.
There I encountered a formerly majestic old pine
Long tumbled over,
Now disconnected from its roots,
Its wood-pecked holes empty and lifeless.
Gradually, it was decaying into the earth
From which it had been birthed.
In that moment, I discovered
What I had been seeking:
In this reconstituting of life,
I found an emerging poem
Striving to be given voice.