The Road from Here

 

I


The Pleiades have set,

Arcturus is high.


Cicadas sing at Chickamauga,

Lightning bugs wander the eastern Tennessee fields.


Witness love shared between two families—

A wedding at home in the meadow by the creek:

Summer begins again!


Then come places lodged in my Dixie Memphis memory,

A handsome Episcopal Church, a dilapidated house,

The last happy moments of childhood.



 

II


The river of life seeks the southern sea,

We follow the sun into the desert of time.


Wind and dust raise the great desert frontier

Mesas gaze west beyond the still green prairie

Rolling rich from the flooded Mississippi Valley.


Wind and dust carry the fates of peoples,

This Llano Estacado and its morning breezes!


In Santa Fe—the paradise at the end of every trek,

Way station for every journey,

Here is a book I cannot leave behind.


From my hotel veranda below the Cathedral

I see a job done well in the museum courtyard,

But elsewhere the art is ugly and decadent.


Raven tricksters scuffling over Father Sky,

Seekers meet below Sister Moon,

I begin to imagine me.


Folks gather in high desert cowboy Prescott

As the town square fills with Native and Western Art,

I come away with the very thing I set out to find:


The dark mask and ecstatic headdress of an Apache Crown Dancer

Stand before the horizon that will call me to the Holy Mountain.


 

III


Now the sun sets over the great hill at Santa Barbara,

Distant white caps spring from the freshening ocean,

Bidding the ecstasy of perfect contentment.


 

 

Pete Ahrens

July 2011


Nexial Quest (c) Pete Ahrens 1999 - 2011