by William Carlos Williams
If you had come away with me
into another state
we had been quiet together.
But there the sun coming up
out of the nothing beyond the lake was
too low in the sky,
there was too great a pushing
too much of sumac buds, pink
in the head
with the clear gum upon them,
too many opening hearts of lilac leaves,
too many, too many swollen
limp poplar tassels on the
It was too strong in the air.
I had no rest against that
The pounding of the hoofs on the
stayed with me half through the night.
I awoke smiling but tired.
One of the true blessings of where I live are all the lakes and parkways near by with walking and biking trails. It’s a pleasure to be out and moving during these strange days. We have had our first real taste of spring weather, early bulbs and perennials poking through and trees beginning to leaf out. Grass is starting to turn green and the smell of earth worms is in the air. The spring peepers are singing in the ponds and on an evening stroll last night several large toads joined me in hopping along the path on their way to their summertime destinations to hide under their favorite patch of rhubarb leaves.
There are many writers who were prodigious walkers. Wordsworth, Dickens, Ben Johnson, Walt Whitman among many others were said to have daily rituals of walking many miles during the day to clear their thoughts and then write in the evening and on into the night. Walking is such a relaxing form of transportation. It is astounding how far one can go at a pace that allows for pleasant conversation and the ability to day dream. During this pandemic, a daily walk is one of the highlights of my day.
What’s your favorite walk? What cityscape, landscape, hike or neighborhood do you most enjoy exploring in your vicinity? What adventure awaits you when we get back to being able to go where your heart desires? On a walk with my sister around a lake last week, she mentioned she was watching videos of people walking in Paris, she found it oddly soothing to see normality on an everyday stroll in a place she has visited many times and recalls fondly. If you’re feeling stressed get out for a walk and if that’s not possible find a virtual walk to have an out of body experience.
Rom: On The Palatine (April, 1887)
by Thomas Hardy
We walked where Victor Jove was shrined awhile,
And passed to Livia’s rich red mural show,
Whence, thridding cave and Criptoportico,
We gained Caligula’s dissolving pile.
And each ranked ruin tended to beguile
The outer sense, and shape itself as though
It wore its marble hues, its pristine glow
Of scenic frieze and pompous peristyle.
When lo, swift hands, on strings nigh over-head,
Began to melodize a waltz by Strauss:
It stirred me as I stood, in Caesar’s house,
Raised the old routs Imperial lyres had led,
And blended pulsing life with lives long done,
Till Time seemed fiction, Past and Present one.