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These old legs deny stealthy stride
as I travel beneath thinning canopy
on a day of clear blue sky
this trek though slow is loud

For the leaves crunch noisy and harsh
the grounded ones having given up their colors
as their companions drift slowly down
to join them on a slight breeze

Squadrons of fowl fly high and fast
all seeking warmth in southern lands
in tight formations and random flocks
whose honking, quacks and plaintive cries
trumpet the end of Indian summer
and cry out warning of coming snow

For the denizens left behind
this is the time of final flurry
of stocking acorns and storing fat
for the lean approaching times
when the world will lose its colors
save evergreen, gray and a peppering of reds
on holly and dogwood trees

Too often I must pause to rest
(old athelete's legs have forgotten their youth
as well as strength and ease of stride)
still, I slowly amble on
through this untamed world
which holds so many memories
of a life lived well past the half way mark

Here, for ever shorter spells,
I can forget my failings and my age
and become lost in forests
both known and new to me.
Where one more hill or ridge or valley
beckons me to discover
its secrets

The crisp wind forbids sweat of effort
and lessens that of pain
which increases with each step taken
not ignored, but closeted
...For I just glimpsed a feeding deer
or squirrel, wild hog, maybe a turkey.
Matters not which
for all can set my tired pulse racing
as in days of youth

Perchance I will, with luck, have such quickened pulse
and be in such a place of beauty
on my final day, alone
where the shame of giving up the Quest
will not be weighed upon another

*another venture into nonrhyme

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
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Editing stage: 


Stunning poem, your way of carrying the reader along with your words is second to none, great to have you back. Only change i'd make is third verse fourth line ( whose honks, quacks and cries ). Regards Roscoe...

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It's great to finally be back and I'll give some more thought to the honking line............stan

author comment

... is if it rhymed. Little joke there. The whole is smooth and as Roscoe said it takes one along for this aged, creaking walk. Free verse notwithstanding, this is superlative.

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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I do a free verse sometimes because it seems to help in my rhyming stuff to be able to maintain a bit of flow sans rhyme. Thanks for the visit and kind comment.................stan

author comment
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