Marker Stone

This weight, a sandbag, an undertow.
My heart is thinned by a marker stone.
A cold white stone on living grass
Black arrow etched in distance past
The grim sight gives the traveler’s stead
Ability to decide if its ready
To take the path he journeys on
Or rest in pasture’s green warm song
But city’s distance furrows his brow
His character is not in this wasteland sown
Birds pluck the shelled life untold
From gutter’s refuse, from cracks in boulders
How weighty on his thoughts that rock
That monument to what lies locked
Behind the wall of city dweller’s face
Where Devil and Angel wings are traced.
What wealth the poor are beaten to take
On what poverty the rich have all things staked
Forbearing all this with a heavy heart
His tired feet have sorely smarted
A friend passed this way once before
If only he had not swung so loosely his sword
That his restructured and suggested way
Be hollowed out down the highwayman’s main.
Danger crouching in every shifting dark
Wherein this flattened warrior shaves with sparks
The blade which leaves its scabbard clean
But heavy in the arm the mother weans.
Such steps he takes collapses him despondent
His map suddenly seems of no assistance.
The mile marker helpful for the length
Does not reach into limbs of lead to strengthen.
Broad ways lose many progressions each day.
Only marked paths reach a safe place.
Returning from the desolate wild land
Where his fingers came to clutch the Father’s hands
Finds a quiet soberness in face once glad
To tell his tale in the presence of all lads.
The reason: by this tombstone, he is low.
And feels the greatest distance from his home.

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The Woodland Wanderer

The wanderer is always earnest
He scans the forest with his eye
The cares of home bestir no tempest
But like a flock of blue birds fly.
His mouth is still: no smile nor frown
For such are worn in human play
But here, where neither home nor town
Is seen, the trees their calm convey.
His arms sway soundless, slow and sure
The wake is made through brush and thorn
A beaten heart is rendered pure
Of the riddling greed in which ’twas born.
 –
The power of silence sculpts his soul
Ignoring the “piffles” of muted feet
Like an Ent he roams o’er hills that roll
As life within seeks life to meet.
 –
All this the wand’rer knows full well
And journeys on, but to what end?
His tales no man will ever tell
Unless he takes with him a friend
 –
A friend to share the load he bears
To turn his face from bark to beam
To draw his heart with human cares
And lead him to the mountain stream
 –
The sparkling brook that brings him home
Where fears are stilled and hurts can mend
To this the wand’rer at last will come
When he has found a staying friend.