Not All That Much

It wasn’t all that much, you might say, nothing

to write home about, just

a heavy green floor of ground cedar and springy peat

littered with reindeer moss and lichened stones,

here and there evidence of flying squirrels,

muddy punctures in the cloth of the moss,

and coyotes, their ropey, black scat,

and overhead a canopy of

birch, beech, and red spruce,

the latter the local’s yew pine whose pointed, black lances

bristle along the ridgeline.

Not that much, perhaps, and our only companion,

a still and remembered, peculiar silence,

a silence with weight,

and the kind of karma you can’t get

from books, or gurus, or poets.

I lean against the grey birch, or sit on the white sandstone,

or kneel in the faded leaf litter, and pray

without thinking God or prayer,

pray by simply staying put, letting

time fall away from me, letting

thought fall away from me

until it’s just me, and this, these

things that don’t seem all that much

but are.

Marc Harshman is the author of the poetry collection, Green-Silver and Silent and All That Feeds Us: The West Virginia Poems. His periodical publications include The Georgia Review, The ProgressiveRoanoke Review, Bayou, and Shenandoah. His eleven children’s books include The Storm, and three new children’s titles are forthcoming. Marc is the poet laureate of West Virginia and lives in Wheeling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.