The Trail Companion
Sweat streaks carve rivers
down dusty cheeks.
Ears burn a fierce red
beneath the wide-brimmed hat,
straining to cool the body's oven.
Legs move mechanically up
the narrow band of beaten earth,
the effort all, the why discarded
six miles back, a thousand feet below.
Dirt-rimmed eyes scan without seeing
the dull gold of sandstone,
the shimmer of blue ceanothus,
thick-clustered curls of oak leaves.
Bunchgrass whips his wet calves
as they beat on, folding him
about the bends, ever nearer
the tall piled cloudbank
starting to crest the ridge above.
Then, a sharp turn around a stand
of young redwoods - the path
falls away to a broad meadow -
flowers blaze across the sodden mat,
a clap of new life to his eyes.
A hoarse shout leaves his throat -
the petals explode - butterflies,
shocked aloft by the invasion.
He laughs - clouds of bright wings
blink and swirl about him,
a soft breath of heaven
to tease away the stain of the day.
Kunde is a native Californian who writes
fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays. Most of his
poetry has appeared in in-house and small press
publications. He is a member of the Spilt Ink writers' group and
proprietor of Fleabonnet Press.
Meeting with Pan at Midnight - Rachel
- Apogee - Brian Kunde
Trail Center. All rights reserved.
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