Morning Awe

    Dew glistens in the early morning sun –
    Its rays only hinting of heat to come.
    Wind gently caresses each leaf
    Creating sounds, oh so quiet.
    A lone bird raises his voice in melody
    Soon joined by one, then two, then more.
    The ants scurry and leave their caves
    Dashing into the new daylight.
    A bee, drawn by floral scents,
    Begins her daily collection
    Brushing pollen dust
    From flower to flower.
    Butterflies stretch their wings
    As if to welcome the new dawn.
    Amidst this glory
    A mere mortal stands in awe

Comments: Speaks for itself!

    One of the bridges along the trail
    Wildflowers wherever you look
    One of nature's wonders
    My Lightning Recumbent

    Resting Along the Trail

    Behold! Towering cumulus,
    ...layer after layer, a blue sea filled
    ...with cascading whitecaps.

    Sol’s warmth reaches down
    ...and touches the skin
    ...while an invisible breeze cools,
    ...providing perfect balanced comfort.

    Greens of every shade,
    ...dark and rich,
    ...bright and vibrant,
    v.surround me.

    A squirrel makes the perilous leap
    ...from one branch to another, the chipmunk scurries across the path
    ...lest exposed too long to predators' eyes.
    A spider’s web
    ...still glistens from the morning dew.

    The aroma of freshly cut hay
    ...and the scent of flora
    ...blend into a classic perfume.

    As I behold,
    ...all I can exclaim is
    ...“Thank you!”

    Comments: Two glorious 20+ mile bike trails are within 15 minutes of my home. Some days, life doesn't get any better than to be along the trail savoring creation.

    Conkle's Hollow Trail

    How many thousands of footprints
    ....have marked this trail
    ....that winds precariously along the rim?
    Did the Shawnees marvel as I do today the majesty of the sandstone cliffs
    ....carved over eons by ancient rivers
    ....or at the hundreds of hemlocks
    ....that shade the path far below?
    Did they gasp at the beauty of the trees
    ....painted by the brushes of fall?
    Surely, the slippery gnarled roots caused all
    ....whether in moccasins or boots step cautiously
    I wonder,
    ....did those first Americans also raise thanks I do today?

    Comments: I have lived much of my life in Ohio. I have also hiked many places in the world. Imagine my surprise when I hiked for the first time this trail less than two hours from home and found it to be one of the most beautiful I have ever walked. For those unfamiliar with Ohio history, the Shawnees were one of the Indian tribes that inhabited this area before the arrival of the Europeans.

    Ice Sculptures

    Fireless dragons stare back
    ...harmlessly in the crisp cold air.
    An ice lady hurriedly prepares for class,
    ...while the transparent snowman
    ...smiles at each passerby.
    The sun, their greatest nemesis,, only makes the crystals
    ...glow and sparkle,
    Soon, not many days hence,
    ...they will melt and trickle into the soil if never there.
    But not before leaving
    ...warm imprints on those who passed by.

    Comments: A nearby college, Ashland University, annually holds an ice sculpture competition. This year, sculptors came from as far away as Japan. Though I worked at the University for a short time a few years ago, this was my first visit to see the carvings. Magnificent they were! Though the day was bitterly cold with the wind biting the skin, I soon forgot my discomfort as I marveled at these creations and walked among these icy statues with a huge smile on my face. For those who read beyond the surface, the above poem also is speaking beyond mere ice sculptures.

    A Brief Ride

    The sky is rich blue,
    ...not often seen in Ohio in July.
    The breeze is light and cooling,
    ...not yet 80 on this day before
    ...America's birthday.
    Instead of speed on the trail,
    ...I choose moments.
    Cycling so slowly
    ...the chipmunks are startled my quiet arrival.
    Birds barely move out of the way, I bask in the life around me.
    To the left, a rustle is heard;
    ...yes, a deer calmly peers back.
    There is time for nature's scents be inhaled, tasted, and exhaled.
    Immediacy is gone – need to maintain the rpms
    ...or raise the heart beat.
    Instead, I inwardly listen my own pulsing flow of life.
    Speaking and smiling to all who pass,
    ...trying to brighten their day like mine.
    Problems and concerns momentarily disappear, an inward cleansing occurs.
    All too soon, two hours pass
    ...arriving at my destination.
    Though reality is back,
    ...I am refreshed.

    Comments: Another glorious ride along the trail. The pictures are of flowers one sees when riding or momentarily stopping.

    Cycling On

    The day is crisp,
    ...with old Sol a few degrees on the rise.
    The hint of color
    ....predicts the coming of fall.
    A lone chimney belches smoke
    ...darker than the fog
    ...that hangs over the harvested fields.

    The stray cats again greet me and part I head out of Butler town.
    The trail is void of others of my kind,
    ...only the birds, chipmunks, and the unseen
    ...keep me company.
    Soon the rows of wild sunflowers
    ...welcome this lone cyclist,
    ...their faces peering toward the warming rays.
    Thanking them, I cycle on.

    Comments: Long time readers of the Journal know my love for biking and the poems I have written about those experiences. Often, the very simple can generate great joy.


    Skiffs and blankets of white
    ......generated by chilling winds
    ......cover frozen ground.
    The unending blah overcast
    ......blocks warming rays.
    Gazing over the landscape,
    ......a lone crabapple stands, a few flakes cling to cold bark.
    Then one, then two, then a dozen or more
    ......alight on the branches,
    ......their orange breasts
    ......announcing that spring only weeks away.

    Comments: The day was cold and dank as I peered out the office window. I was not thinking of much until I spied the tree in our yard. As described, the robins arrived, feasting on the winter-worn fruit.

    Enjoying a feast

    The Hitchhiker

    The early October day unusually warm,
    ...the sun but 25 degrees above the horizon.
    The greens are brushed with yellows and reds,
    ...portending the glory to come.
    This morning hints to be a poetical dream.

    Riding my recumbent along the B & O Trail,
    ...I’m lost in thought, basking in life.
    Though the eyes span the artistic tableaus,
    ...transforming with each passing second, thoughts turn inward.

    A slight brush along the ear
    ...arouses me from the dreams, insect or bug perhaps.
    I peer downward,
    ...spotting a yellow leaf,
    ...resting, lodged between the black brake cables.
    “Welcome stranger, along for the ride?” I inquire.
    “Only for a few minutes,
    ...I need to rest, for my time is done,”
    ...comes the reply.
    For a mile or so,
    ...the guest shimmers in the breeze.
    The sun rays strike its surface, longer causing the magic the season before.
    With nary a word “Goodbye”
    ...the hitchhiker floats to the ground,
    ...having given one last gift,
    ...before returning to the soil,
    ...its birthplace and source.

    As you may have noted, this poet is sometimes inspired by strange things, this time a mere leaf joining me for a brief ride. I trust you enjoyed this whimical little story. Just as described, this evet happened one Saturday morning three weeks ago. No, the leaf really didn't speak to me ..;-) On a more serious note, the poem is speaking to a much larger issue, the cycle of life and the role each member of nature plays – be it a leaf or a human being.

    Along the B & O Bike Trail in early October
    "Me and my shadow"


    Ripples reflecting
    The sparkling jewels of light
    Hypnotize one into lost thoughts.
    A gaggle of geese
    Skim quietly along the surface.
    Their dark silhouettes
    Clearly outlined.
    The breeze cools the brow
    After a Zen-like row.

    Comments: You have read many of my poems written along the bike trail. This is the first on a new theme. I have taken up the sport of sculling (rowing) and am discovering the joy of gliding silently across the mirrored surface of a lake, feeling muscles straining, perspiration building, as one enters a timeless groove. (Technically, among rowers and scullers, sculling is using one hand on each of the two oars to row while rowing is both hands on one oar.)

    Bob sculling
    Also enjoying the water
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