Taking the Old Path
A walk in another direction
The ancient willows are alive with leaf again.
They’re a fine example of nature’s miracles.
Trunks hollowed out by age and decay playing
host to lesser plants clinging to their crannies.
Their weathered core sunlit into abstract paintings.
Behind them the bird cherry is in full candle.
Bidding them good morning we take our track
strolling beneath the pink flowered overhang
from the neighbour’s grand old almond tree.
A short walk and she’s bathing in lush dewy grass.
The fields spread out on our left overlooked by
the small plantation of mature oak and walnut.
On our right the river is rippled by a breeze today.
A cormorant, or maybe a shag, is fishing, diving
out of sight then surfacing every twenty metres.
After a few dives it moves on with a slow splashy
take off leaving in low pterodactyl like flight.
Beneath willow fronds a grebe calls for its mate.
We continue on the uneven surface sandwiched
between the head-high stands of last year’s reeds.
A gap flattened by wind allows a view across the river
to water meadows vivid green with spring growth.
Our route follows the bank raised above the fields
until the way narrows on the edge of woodland.
We continue until the river turns away in a wide arc.
I stop, hoping to catch a glimpse of the stag and hinds,
but today they graze elsewhere. A mallard and his hen
sit on branches of a drowned tree preening, uncaring
of a voyeur and his companion. We’ve walked far enough.
We must turn around and return on the familiar old path.